Friday, October 9, 2009

My Dad

It's not very often that I express the love I feel for my dad, or any of the people who are important and dear to me. It's something I think about often. When I love someone, I love them intensely, with all of myself. And sometimes when I think about the special people in my life, I feel overcome.

I often feel inspiration to tell them how I feel and why they are so important to me. But more often than not, I become too busy or preoccupied and fail to act on my inspiration.

I often think about how supportive my husband is of every single decision I have made since we have gotten married.

I see how hard my mom works and that she needs to know how much I admire her.
I notice that my sister Cristy is always thinking about others, building them up and trying to find the best in them.

I'll think about my sister Jamie and how dedicated to motherhood she is.
I am touched by the warmth of my mother-in-law and how eager she is to make me feel loved and at home.

I love the way my father-in-law is protective over me and takes care of me and how when I leave their house I always feel loved.

These thoughts need to be spoken, so why aren't they? To me it is a tragedy if one's thoughts and feelings are never manifested. So today I wanted to write about someone, whom I have the opportunity to love and adore. My dad. His generosity and sincerity is like no one else I know. His heart is big which makes room for so much understanding and tolerance for others.

My dad has always been my biggest fan. Being surrounded by women all his life, he has learned how to make them feel special which isn't always a simple task.

My dad and I share many of the same qualities and interests. For instance, he has always taken a keen interest in photography and I value his opinion greatly. His dream was to be a photographer for National Geographic magazine. Well that's not the most realistic aspiration for a family man, so he was contented with photography as a hobby. But you see, my dad is a "hobby collector." With a wife, three dramatic daughters and a son that requires around-the-clock attention, he had to let go of something.

When I approached him with an interest in photography he was excited. He was the first person I showed my first "real" photo shoot and he spent all day looking at my very amateur and probably pretty horrible pictures, but couldn't stop talking about how talented I was. "You have a gift," he said. "It might be a burden, because it's not something you can turn your back on. It's a calling." Those are words I won't ever forget. And when I am down on myself, comparing my work to incredible photographers and ready to give up, I won't. Because I'll remember those words. He gave me the confidence to pursue my dream.

Today, with a little more experience and much more confidence under my belt, I still show my dad my work when I need a little pick-me-up, because I know he will love them. I know that he won't just say the words, but will sincerely love them.

Today as I was putting some pictures on my photo blog of a wedding I recently shot, I was feeling a little nervous about them. I wanted them to be great, but wasn't sure. I asked my dad to look at them and tell me what he really thought. I know he's my dad and of course he's biased, but he also has an eye for it, and I wanted his professional opinion.

I hear him chuckle from the other room, so I stop what I am doing and go look. He is looking at my website and his eyes are red and watery. He looks up at me and says, "You are just so good." I have never received such a sincere compliment. "Some of these pictures are heart-wrenching. I'm sobbing like a baby!" he said with an embarrassed laugh. "And your writing! Your writing is so funny! I could look at these all day. Now get outta' here." And he continued looking at my photos.

I heard him clear his throat a couple more times. I hope everyone has a chance to get a pat on the back with such sincerity. Yes, he's my dad, but he really meant what he said and I could tell.

That's the kind of mom I want to be to Boo. I don't want him to ever doubt that I am proud of him. I think we forget that words really do mean a lot. Whomever came up with the saying "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me," was totally off. Sometimes words can mean the most.

So go and tell someone you love how you feel about them. It may just mean the world to them at that very moment.


Brittany said...

What and incredible post. You have an amazing Dad!!!!!! I was teary reading that wonderful tribute to him! Loves!

Cristy said...

Love your post! Dad is quite the amazing guy. The other day I had a migraine and asked him to bring me some pain medication, he came right away and with a fountain coke too! I would have had the worst day ever if it wasn't for him.

Thanks for what you said about me too. That was sweet! You do have a gift and I am so glad you share ti with the world!

Jamie said...

Now I'm crying like a baby, that was really sweet Kelli! I hope you told dad about it!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you wrote that. How sweet.

Credit: Header photos by Jessica Kettle Photography.