Also, I'm his only child. So when I say he was overprotective, I mean really overprotective. I can't tell you how many times I was the only one of all of my friends who wasn't allowed to go somewhere or do something. I would sit at home and cry over my sad existence while everyone else was out having fun. Now that I'm getting older I understand every single one of those decisions he made. At the time I would say " I will NEVER treat my children this way!!!". Yeah....pretty sure I was wrong.
But as much as we may have butted heads, I learned so much from him. One thing everyone knows about my dad is what a hard worker he is. He grew up in a great family with not a lot of money (he didn't even have indoor plumbing until high school!), enlisted in the service at 17, was in Vietnam, and came back with no college education and pretty much nothing to his name. He worked hard, and was rewarded greatly for it. By the time I was about two years old, he was president of a bank. He kept that position until he retired a few years ago, and he was greatly respected in the small town we lived in. On top of that, he has always had numerous horses and a lot of land that he has taken care of. Even now that he's retired and approaching his seventies, he works on his land almost every single day. All day long. And yes, I worry about him constantly :)
I have always, always known that my dad loves me more than anything in this world. Yes, it drove me crazy when I was younger, but it also showed me what kind of love I should hold out for. I have always known that he would do anything in his power to make me happy, whether that meant packing up every last thing that I owned, driving a U-Haul across the country to Los Angeles, and dropping me off at the age of 20, or if it meant coming back to L.A. one year later, packing everything back up in a U-Haul, and driving me back to Oklahoma.
He paid for my college education, a brand new car when I graduated, and my wedding. And he still asks if I need anything every single time we talk on the phone. To say I am spoiled may be true, but to say I am loved is most definite.
I can honestly say that I love and respect my dad with all of my heart, and feel like a lucky girl to have him. I can't wait to finally give him the grand-babies he has been waiting oh-so-patiently for. Love you dad!