I talk a lot about my relationship with Parker and our adventures together on this blog. I grew up wanting to get married and have a family, and Parker truly was and is an answer to prayer. I didn't have a list of qualities or attributes I wanted in a husband, but I knew the type of person I wanted to marry. This "type" would be a Christian, someone who strives to be better each day, someone who puts their family's and others' needs before their own... I knew the type I was looking for.
They say you look for a man like your father when searching for a husband, particularly if you had a positive childhood experience. My dad is my hero and always has been, and while my childhood may not have been perfect, it was honestly perfect. I grew up in a home full of love, full of people who really, truly loved me. I idolized my dad growing up and still do. I have never met a man who can instantly make people feel at ease, who can make you feel like what you're saying is important and matters, and who shows true selflessness day in and day out like my father does. Parker had a tough act to follow.
He and my dad aren't the same person by any means, but they share a lot of the qualities I love most about my dad: dedication to work and family, love, compassion, honesty. My dad "gave me away" almost 3 years ago to go out and make a life with my husband. It's a nice idea in theory, your dad giving you away to the man of your dreams. I am Parker's wife and love my identity as this, but a piece of my heart will always, always belong to my dad. After all, he's the first man I ever loved.
Today, the man I have idolized my whole life, who has become my confidante and best friend, turns 50. Today, I just feel blessed. I feel blessed to be his daughter. I feel blessed that God chose him to lead me through life. I feel blessed that in addition to a father/daughter relationship, we have a solid friendship. I just feel blessed.
Happy birthday, Dad. I love you so much.