Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If You Ever Wondered Where I Get It

Today is my fathers birthday. Until now, I have posted very little about my dad, not because there aren't a ton of things to post about, or because my relationship with my Dad is in any way rocky, but simply because it is hard to sum up my father is a finite amount of words.

My dad is a pastor, officially, his title is Reverend Dave. Only he doesn't like to be called Reverend, so he is just Dave to most people. He officiated at my wedding, it doesn't get better than that!

What does it mean to grow up a PK(that's Pastors Kid, for all you heathens)? Well aside from the obvious fact that I am holy by association, it doesn't mean much. Umm...you do know I am kidding about the holiness thing right? Sure I grew up understanding what Hermeneutics are, and knew the Greek alphabet, but don't we all?

Alpha, beta, theta, frodo, yoda, monolo blahnik, latte, Z. Duh.

My dad has given me many things, most obviously, he gave me much of my sense of humor. Quite often, we will both make the same lame remark about the same thing and find ourselves doubled over with laughter while the rest of the room shakes their collective head. My dad has also bestowed upon me my love of caffeine.

His parents lived in Florida, so we would often drive down from Pennsylvania to see them over the summer. It was on these trips that we realized that 1.) I have sleeping issues, and 2.) I am a giant dork, just like my dad. I used to rise shotgun in the van, and while everyone else slept he and I would quiz each other on Lord of the Rings trivia fueled by truck-stop coffee. Keep in mind that this was well before the movies were made. We were one wizard short of a geek convention. I still consider it to be one of my greatest triumphs that I finally stumped him with the following question "What was the name of Tom Bombadil's pony in the first book?" Do any of you know?

I have to throw in here that I was HUGELY disappointed by the absence of Tom Bombadil in Peter Jackson's adaptation of the books...so was my dad.

In 1999 or so, my dad took my sister Emily and I along on our first missions trip to the Dominican Republic. I have written here before about the impact those trips had on my life, but I have not written about The Accident. We went to the beach with our group for the day, and after a few hours someone came out into the water to tell me to come up onto the beach, there was an accident. No one told me what the accident was, or who was involved. I overheard one girl say "Is Dave going to be okay?" My heart stopped beating and my stomach plummeted to my knees.

My dad? Why were people asking if my dad would be okay? Eventually someone told me that there had been a jet-ski accident further down the beach, and that my dad had been involved. I immediately tore down the beach in a blind panic to find my daddy. I saw a group of people limping towards us, two people holding up one person in the middle of the group. The person was limping badly and his face was covered in blood. He held a bloodstained t-shirt over his face, but I could hear him crying. CRYING. My daddy didn't cry when things hurt. I never knew him to express pain, he was (and still is) the toughest man I know. I held his hand while Emily held his arm as our small group made it's way to the main group. He laid down on a towel while someone tried to find the van that we had taken to the beach, as well as our driver, the only person that knew the way to the hospital.

My dad struggled to maintain consciousness while the details of the story unfolded. He and a couple of teens from our group had rented jet-skis. One girl had decided to try to fishtail in the water to splash my dad, but had failed to turn her jet-ski. The machine had struck my father full-speed in the shin, then ramped up off of his body, hitting him in the face before knocking him off into the water. Doctors have told him that he is lucky to have survived the accident at all.

We finally got him into the van, and headed for the hospital, where the security guard reassures my sister and I(who were both hysterical) the he had seen worse. Coming from a man who stood outside of a hospital in a third world country, this was not helpful. Well-intentioned to be sure, but still. The Doctors there told him that he was fine, nothing was broken, and after a few hours and a surprisingly low bill, sent him back to the compound with us. He finished out the trip with nothing but ice and Tylenol. I told you this guy is tough.

When we finally got back to the States, my step-mom, an RN, took him to get x-rays immediately. He had not only gotten a fractured nose, but his cheekbone was more or less crushed, his upper lip needed stitches inside and out, and if I remember correctly, there was another bone in his face alone that was broken. We were very very blessed to not have lost our father that day. After several reconstructive surgeries, his face is back to normal(ish). His profile will never be the same, and he will probably never get feeling back in his upper lip, all in all though, he came out of the ordeal miraculously safe.

This post is getting long, but there is so much more to say. I can never get out on here just how much each and every member of my family means to me. They have molded me and shaped me in ways for which I will be eternally grateful.

So today, on your birthday Daddy, I would like to publicly say THANK YOU, for everything. For sharing your love of science fiction novels with me, for teaching me how to be caffeine addict, for showing me the real world not just the pretty parts, for teaching me to play chess, for so much more. I love you Daddy.

Oh, and Dad? Fatty Lumpkin. That is the name of Tom Bombadil's pony. No, I will never forget that moment.

12 comments:

  1. That is a wonderful post full of love and humour - a fitting tribute to your dad, Dave - who sounds like a wonderful person.

    You are lucky to have him.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. That is so sweet. I hope that my children have that relationship with my husband!

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  3. A lovely post- you're a lucky girl!

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  4. What an amazing tribute, and how lucky he must have felt to have the honor of performing your marriage ceremony. You're both blessed to have such a bond. Happy birthday to your dad!

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  5. This is a wonderful post. Very touching. I found myself reading faster just so I could get to the end and make sure your dad was okay.

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  6. Wow, what a crazy thing to happen.

    You are lucky to have a dad you get along with

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  7. So beautiful. I love your relationship with your pastor father. And who knew the greek alphabet was so cool?

    Glad your dad survived a senseless accident.

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  8. Bekah, what a wonderful birthday present to give to your father.


    Jen

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  9. What a sweet post! And how cool that your dad married you guys!!!

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  10. Happy Birthday Dave! I hope your day is all you want it to be.

    Your daughter is very lucky to have you for her father. I always wanted that type of relationship with my own father...but it just was not meant to be.

    You deserve all today can bring!

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  11. What a beautiful tribute. I hope my girls feel the same way about me someday! You're a lucky girl! I love your blog!

    *I tagged you on my blog. Check it out if you're interested! :)

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  12. Continue to cherish your Daddy for as long as you have him. This was a sweet post.

    Thanks for making my mascara run today (the first day ALL WEEK that I freakin' wore any!).

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