31 People: My Dad

Dad

Today is my Dad’s birthday!

What better way to honor him, especially as I am so far away, than adding him to my 31 People who Inspire, Influence, Impress list!

I love this picture of me and my Dad. It was taken (by our amazing photographer, Shauna Castaner Photography) on my wedding day.

I love the joy and pride on his face. He had waited 32 years for that moment and as his only child, and only daughter I know that moment was magical for both of us.

Growing up I was never a Daddy’s girl – even though I look more like my Dad (I have his eyes), my personality is so much more like my Mum which is the opposite of Dad. Dad is a thinker, a melancholy, a processor. He hates conflict and is a peacemaker. This served him very well in his career as a social worker specializing in fostering, but as a Dad with an incredibly verbally expressive, often argumentative, and extremely passionate (some call it volatile!) daughter it lead to my teen years having their fair share of conflict and arguments. Oh the joys of teenage angst!

Meanwhile, my Dad never raised his voice to me (even though I gave him many opportunities) instead he was constant and consistent. I ALWAYS knew I was dearly loved no matter what. I always knew he was proud of me no matter what. Those things matter so much more to me now and the frustrations of my teenage years are but a comedic and distant memory.

I was blessed with a Dad who never left me in any doubt about how he felt about me. I have met many women who have struggled throughout their lives with their identity because they did not grow up with a secure father figure in their lives. I realize the value and security his love and consistency brought me.

My Dad is one of the funniest men I know, admittedly some of the time people are laughing at him – but Dad is very aware of his idiosyncrocies and regularly makes light of them and ‘plays to the crowd’. Friends still talk about my wedding speech, partly because it was very long (by American standards not not by British standards!), full of useless details, funny memories, heartfelt moments and hilarious laughter – including the moment Dad started laughing at his own stories!! He laughs until he cries often and when you are with him you can’t help but get swept up in the hilarity!

For the purposes of these posts I interviewed some of the people I am featuring in the 31 People series so you can get a little more of an idea of who they are and what their real lives are like.

Here is a smattering of my Dad’s answers:

Describe a typical day in your life: 

Now that I am retired there is no such thing as a typical day. One of the advantages when I was working was that every day was different and now that I am retired I don’t do routine.

Having said that as I am now a dog owner he expects a degree of routine, so unless the weather is very bad he is taken out for a walk every day. Even then I try to vary the route & the time of day when we go for a walk. I go to the gym twice a week & like to go early in the morning before breakfast. I help out at a local food bank one morning once every two weeks. With my wife I go t church on Sundays and we both run a housegroup for teenagers which meets once every two weeks. I am also a member of a housegroup that that also meets every two weeks.

Who or what is the greatest influence in your life? 

As a Christian the answer should be my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and on reflection that is true because my Christian faith does influence a lot of my thinking.

However, in practical day -to-day matters my wife and my daughter are the significant influences. Both are able to provide insight and sound advice. My wife and I spend more time together now that we are both retired and for the most part this works well, but we both recognize that we also like to pursue individual interests, so we try to make sure we set aside time for them.

What is your greatest quality and why?

I cannot stand arrogance and conceit so I do not think about my own qualities. People say I am dependable, reliable and can be trusted. I like to follow through with promises I make to people and don’t like to let people down.

Tell us about a defining moment in your life: 

There are three, all related and of equal importance: when I became a Christian, when I met my wife and when my daughter was born.

I hope this gives you a great taste of who my Dad is and how proud and grateful I am to have him as my Dad!

I Love you Dad – more than you will ever know!

Happy Birthday!

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