This last week, Dave and I had our carpets cleaned, which was great, but also stressful- we had to move all of our items off the carpets. Well, if you’ve seen our place, you know that we have a lot of carpet… our apartment is almost all carpet except for in the kitchen and the 2 small bathrooms. As we were moving items and trying to be strategic in the way we placed everything and how we positioned things, I began throwing items away from under the bed that were no longer of importance to me, or various pieces of trash that had accumulated underneath. As I cleaned, pushed and picked up items, I ran across something that somehow must have gotten pushed underneath throughout the years, a treasure.
This treasure is something that is very sentimental to me, something given to me by my dad on my wedding day. It is not worth any money and to anyone else, it may not be seen as a treasure, but to me it is a treasure that is priceless. My dad is a man of words… he always has been. Every card that I get from him or sweet note has a very heart felt, thought out message that is specifically written to me. Have you figured out what it is yet? It’s a journal to me, about me which he began writing when i was 18 months old!!! How cool, right?!!!
Now before I tell you more about this journal and share some of the writings from within , I want to take you back to my wedding day… the day he gave it to me!
It was one of the happiest and most amazing days of my life… my wedding day had finally come. All the family from both sides, friends and family came from all around to celebrate as Dave and I began a new journey together as a married couple. I had dreamt of my wedding day since I was little girl and had always looked forward to walking down the aisle towards the man of my dreams, the beautiful dress and flowers, the music and laughter and fun. ( just like all of us ladies 😉 But even more than those things, I looked forward to having my dad see me for the first time in my wedding dress, walking me down the aisle and dancing with him. These were things that I had pictured in my mind as I grew up… wanting him to be proud of me, to think that I was beautiful, him giving me away to someone that he respected and gave his blessing too, and dancing with him as I had when I was a little girl. That day was so much better than I could have ever dreamt!
We did all of those things and they will forever be etched in my memory from that perfect day, but something I didn’t anticipate, was my dad giving me a beautiful present… my treasure. As I opened the box that he had so diligently wrapped, I found a small journal inside- ( sidenote: my dad is an amazing present wrapper… he takes so much time to make sure that all the edges are perfect and then garnishes it with a beautiful ribbon, many times tied by him).
The journal was black and was spiral bound, it was nothing special to look at, but the contents were what makes it so special, a treasure to me. I took the journal out and with a somewhat confused face, looked up at my dad, as he explained. As he spoke and told me about this journal, I looked down at what was in my hands and tears began to roll down my cheeks… this was special… this was amazing… this was one of the sweetest gifts I had ever received. Within this simple notebook, I get a look at the past… I get his memories of me as a baby and a little girl… I get his lovely words of wisdom… I get his blessings…. I get to read through and see my life through my daddy’s eyes.
My dad has such a way with words. I spent so many days reflecting and reading through the many entries he wrote after Dave and I married. I cried and laughed, as I read the entries of my life. Again, even now as I read some of the entries, I realize how incredibly blessed I am and have been to have such a wonderful dad in my life. He took the time to write down all of these memories for me to look back on, for himself to have, and on top of that, he did this for my siblings as well ( my brother and sister). He began the journal entries when i was about 18 months and continued to write things whenever he had time, all the way up to an entry in 2001 and then again in 2005 and then his last entry, the day of mine and Dave’s wedding, August 10, 2013.
So i’ve told you that my dad is a man of beautiful words, full of wisdom, thought and encouragement. I’ve told you that he is a gifted present wrapper ( super jealous). But now I will tell you a little more about him and share some of his words. My dad is the most genuine person that you will ever meet… this is usually one of the first things that people tell me about my dad. He is intentional in everything he does, whether it be writing a card, working on a project for work, or buying something beautiful my mom ( one of his love languages is gift given). He is so funny and always makes us laugh, and he has an awesome laugh. Dave and him have loads of fun together, laughing and laughing and they in turn crack me up with their silliness. He is loving, caring, passionate, patient, hard working, handsome, gentle, a musician, full of integrity, full of wisdom and Godly advise, artistic, and a lover of flowers and planting. But beyond all these things, my dad is a Godly father. He is led by God, he prays and wants what God wants, and he has always been the person I run to for advise, knowing that I will get Godly wisdom. He is the head of our family and he has been a wonderful father and husband to my mom… We have been truly blessed.
These are things that he wanted for me. He and my mother prayed for my future and for the man I would marry. As I was reading in the journal, he writes on August 13, 2000 that I told him I hoped to marry a man like him. He says that the comment blessed and warmed his heart and he continues with… “ What a great and wonderful statement for a Dad to hear from his daughter. Obviously, I was thrilled to hear you say this, but also humbled. Because I know my various short-comings and failures. Therefore, I hope you will be wise enough and blessed by God to marry someone even better than your image of your old Dad. It is my prayer that, first and foremost, your husband be a man of God. Someone who loves God with all their heart. Secondly, my prayer is for this man to love you as much as they love God, but without removing God from His rightful position as their first love…” Thank you, Dad for praying these things over me… I found that with Dave, but no one will be able to replace you! I have been blessed.
It would take me forever if I discussed all of the beautiful entries he wrote me, but each are so special to me. Here are a couple more:
August 8, 1993 he wrote this… “ Time is not always kind. We grow older. We forget important happenings and those around us change. Inside we are always the same-our inner soul stays the same- but we don’t know each other spirit to spirit. If we did, your spirit would be able to communicate to my spirit and all things past and present would be easily known and remembered. Instead we communicate in ways that are always changing. As you grow up, you respond to me differently and I to you. Two years ago I was your “Daddy”: now I am your “Dad”. Sometimes (just to be wise) you call me “Steve”. I suppose in a few years I will be your “old man” and a kiss from you will be rare indeed. I hope you will remember much more than I have so that you know what makes you the kind of person you are.”
And the last entry in the journal is to me and Dave! August 10, 2013
“Dear Erin; Dear Dave, Today you become husband and wife. Now you two will take the pen from me, to write love stories of you own. Maybe one day you will be so blessed that a journal to a child will be something you begin…”
To my daddy:
Dad, even though I am grown and married, you will forever be my daddy. The one who tucked me in at night, the one who watched and studied me as I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the one who sat at the piano with me, the one who lulled me to sleep with beautiful songs on the piano, the one who lead our family in a Godly way, the one who walked me down the aisle to marry my prince charming, and the one who I love to talk with and still gleam wisdom from. You will always be my daddy, I love you so much and I treasure all the time you spent writing down all of these incredible memories… I can not wait to read more entries in the new book that you began for me the year I married! Love you!
I hope you all have an incredible day rejoicing and celebrating your dads! I hope you tell them how much you love them everyday!