Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mama On: Daddy

Leon McFarland
"You only get one -- and one should be enough."

I was fifteen when my mother said this, and I have to believe that in and with all of her Mamaknowledge she knew that this day would come.  My daddy passed last night.

As sad as that is, it is more cause for celebration than for sadness.  At age 87, he'd covered a lot of ground -- most of it good.  A soldier, business owner, artist, husband, and father, he was mine.  And while he might not have been the best father in the world:  God knows that he would never have passed for Ward Cleever ("Leave It To Beaver"), or Cliff Huxtable ("The Bill Cosby Show").  My father was one heck of a Great Daddy. 

I wish that everbody could have a Great Daddy. 

I think on it now, and I know without a doubt that I am a reflection of what he was to and for me.  Because of my daddy, I understand teamwork.  He took me to ball games and explained the rules to me.  Because of my daddy, I understand physical strength.  He taught me to ride bikes and hit golf balls straight -- especially when I didn't want to.  Because of my daddy, I understand patience.  He helped me plant and nurture those little plants in my first gardens.  Because of my daddy, I understand the eloquence of color and balance.  He wa a gifted painter and sketch artist who never laughed at my efforts. 

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't always sunshine and lollipops.  We had our trials, some of them bordering on epic, but we always found our way back to each other.  Maybe because my daddy incidently and just as a function of being who he was taught me courage of conviction.  Or maybe it was because he taught me that fear was only a reaction to a moment, not a life plan.  There is a ton of other stuff I could remember, but I think that I will stop here because I want this to be a little celebration of Daddy/Daughter love.  And I just want to remember that my mother was right: you do only get one.  But when it's done right, one is all you need.

Love you, my One and Only Daddy.