|MY DADDY <3|
He's the kind of Dad that you just KNOW is there for you........despite distance, despite whatever HE might be going through, he is there....even though we're all grown up with families of our own, we just KNOW that we know that we know that Dad's right there for us when/if we need him.
Growing up with this amazing kind of support from him (and My beautiful Mum of course), you kind of just take it all for granted. That is, until you see someone who has not had that same kind of Father/Parent figure.
I know for a long time I just thought that was "how it was". Everyone had what I had.... but as I got older, the penny dropped and I realised that what I had was GOLD.
This Dad of mine is going to be 60 on Friday! Sixty. Man, I remember when that sounded so.darn.old! haha. (don't things change when 40's just around the corner for you!).
My Dad is a hard worker. He trained alongside my Grandfather and became an amazing upholsterer. He and Papa had their business "RJ Larkins and Son"... (my Dad was the son obviously!). I have so many fantastic memories of that time. Hanging out at "the shop" after school. It was conveniently situated right next door to "the ice-cream parlour"...which was THE prime spot for icecreams/sundaes/milkshakes etc back in the day in Kaitaia!! So often we would go to the shop and Dad/Papa would let us raid the petty cash tin and go feast on all that yummy (naughty) goodness! (Which contributed to this rather large waistline that I sport these days!).
My Dad would teach us to tell the time..........whilst he worked on a lounge suite or chair, or motorbike seat (whatever the project at hand was).... he would also be MULTI-TASKING!! (pretty amazing for a bloke!)... and drawing us clock faces with upholstery chalk on the concrete floor....
He would teach us long division (do they still do that these days)??
He would make us awesome things like "in fashion" duffle bags (anyone actually remember these??).. and cool padded vests that were the in thing at the time!!
We would invite all our friends over, and make necklaces out of some of the different materials laying around the shop. We'd have staple gun fights (so UN-PC these days). My Dad was cool with our friends coming around!
My Dad would cut our hair EXACTLY how we wanted it..... none of this "No... you can't have that style etc". Actually Dad would cut a large number of Kaitaia kids hair at his shop...and even at home because everyone knew we had clippers!! haha.
He'd cut amazing patterns in the sides of our hair... and spike up the middle...so much so that my nickname at intermediate was "punky" haha. spiky top...patterened sides...and ratstails at the back... LOL!
My Dad had a motorbike accident when we was in his 30s......and he became a paraplegic.
Take a moment to imagine how devastating that could have been to someone who was very active...a real blokey bloke ... hunting fishing.diving.sporty. a partier etc.. Suddenly you're being told that life is going to be quite different for you..................... it's a biggie.
He could have given up. He's admitted he thought about "ending it all" at one stage......... but then realised he had US to live for. He had family, he had friends... so he LIVED!
He carried on. He has lived his life....not just let it pass by. He has always participated in stuff.. got out there done it! He carried on with his upholstery... trained up others too (I really wish I had learnt the trade when I was younger!). He has lived a great life despite the crap that "life" has thrown at him from time to time.
My Dad's the kind of guy who doesn't like to put people out....cause a fuss or a bother. The kind of patient in hospital that would be nigh unto death rather than put the nurses/doctors out! He's far too cruisey for his own good! This has made us kids step it up and go in to bat at time for our Dad.
Dad is very hospitable, and gives gives gives... to others. I have truly lost count of the number of people we have had through our house who have needed some support for a time...and to be honest at times I truly HATED it............. but now hearing how that time in our household has helped so many people, I realise what an "oasis" my Dad (and Mum) have been to others in their time of need!
I could go on and on about how amazing my Dad is...and he is. Don't get me wrong, we have our fair share of arguments too........haha and the usual stuff, but when it all comes down to it.......... My Dad just rocks!!
I am so thankful for the Trust and belief that my Dad has always had in me. I am thankful that whatever the issue is/was we could bring it to Dad and he'd help us with it....or just be there for us supporting. I am thankful for his non-judgemental attitude, and his sense of "fairness". That says a lot about someone.
I am thankful for the absolute unlimited Love that Dad has for his grandchildren.... he adores them so much, and they him too.... I am so glad that our kids have a Grandfather and Grandmother that love and adore them like they do..... they feel so valued/loved cherished... and that's a big thing in making a kid and awesome big person one day!
I Love too that my Dad loves God! This took a long hard road of prayer/tears etc... and he's so firm in his Christian life........it's great! Many many years we prayed for my Dad... hoped and wished that we'd see him one day believe in God... !! Awesomeness!
My Dad just goes beyond the call of duty..........like when I have ripped horse covers....or covers that arent quite the right size for our horses.... No sweat to Dad... he's on his industrial sewing machine..and soon the cover looks amazing (good that he's such a perfectionist!!... BONUS!).
Anyway, I could go on and on until the cows come home..... but I just wanted to tell the world what an awesome Daddy I have.............and I thank God daily for him (and Mum too!!)....
And if you get to read this Dad.... I want to thank you for all of the above, and for much much more...
For your love, and your care, and your Whanaungatanga. The world would be such a wonderful place even if we just had a handful more YOU's in it!!
I can't wait to celebrate your birthday with you and our family/friends on Friday............ I hope you have a great night and enjoy yourself!!
This song sums up how I feel about you and how BLESSED I am to have you................ my HERO xx
Arohanui xxx Your girl xxx