A Man Like My Dad

“Dad, every one is buying my favorite bookmarked houses on MLS, I am so mad, we have to buy them now!  And cash too!” I whine on the phone.

“OK, well let’s wait for this pre-approval loan first Diana, there are thousands of houses on the market and hundreds of new ones every day in Phoenix.  It’s not a matter of you finding a house, you’ll find one, don’t rush,” says my dad calmly on the other line.

My dad understands me.  Having lived in his house for 17 years before leaving off to college, I left my dad with his gray hairs.  Seriously, when I returned for Thanksgiving during my freshman year of college my dad looked like he dyed his hair black.  His gray hairs left when I left the house!  My dad, is the most patient, carefree, educated, gentle, generous, stable, committed, and incredibly hard working man I’ve ever known.  My dad has never uttered a mean word or phrase to my mother who has been known for being a bit  sauciness.  He has always lifted her up, laughed with her (and perhaps at times at her but he doesn’t show that).  My Unkie told me that they just don’t come like my dad anymore .  No, they rarely do.  I especially know that I am beyond blessed to be able to want to marry a man like my father.

My dad is book smart, street smart, patient, unconditionally loving, generous, joyful, carefree, witty, but most of all what I love about my father is his tenderness and wisdom.  Wisdom that comes from his years of drive, and his ability to provide for his family and leading the way he has.  Did I ever tell you my dad’s sensibility?  He installed fluorescent kitchen lights in our bedrooms to save money.  Can you imagine what I looked like in jr. high putting makeup on under FLUORESCENT LIGHTS? No wonder I didn’t have a boyfriend.

When I was little, I used to ask him for the definition of words.  I’ll never forget the day when he told me to grab a dictionary and look it up.  Ugh!  The nerve!  I was convinced it was because he didn’t know what it meant.  I soon realized that he was teaching me to find answers to my own questions instead of assuming people would give me everything.  Hence, the ridiculously overdriven photographer/graphic designer/business owner you know me as now.

The scariest and one event in my life that I would say changed my life was when my dad was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer the summer before my senior year in college, 2002.  Never more have I ever been scared, desperate and an emotional mess.  Thankfully God saved him in more ways than one, and I have more time with my dad.  Every birthday and Father’s Day I am reminded of the blessing I have of having my dad here.  And the blessing that I can say I want to marry a man like my dad.

Recently, I had a business dilema.  My dad’s the ultimate business man.  My dad’s response was not what I wanted to hear. “Ugh, dad!”  He replied, “Hey, ok then.  How about this.  How about you just concentrate on being a good Christian.”  Aaaand, even though that was the same answer as what my dad gave me previously just in a different form, that solved the problem right then and there.

Thanks, Dad.  For everything.  Thanks for being the best because even though you set the bar real high, and I joke that it may be somehow damaging, I know it’s not, and I know it’ll be worth it in the end.  You’ve taught me to never, ever settle.  Lucky me to have a dad like you.

2004. Dad at 55, Me just having turned 22.

Diana Elizabeth just realized that she really is starting to look like her mom.  Woah.


Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


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