Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day Reflections

With Father's Day being this past Sunday I have been thinking about my father a lot the last few days. This is my second Father's Day without him being around. If you looked up the definition of "Daddy's Girl" in the dictionary you would probably find my picture there as an illustration. When I look at my life today there is not a single facet of my daily life that does not trace back to him in some way. 

My parents sometimes wondered where the heck I came from. I was horse crazy from the moment I could talk and all I ever wanted was to be around them. Neither of my parents had spent any time around horses and innocently began to take me for weekly riding lessons when I was very young. As my dad always said, those riding lessons were the worst financial decision of his life. 

I begged and begged my parents for my very own pony. For any number of perfectly logical reasons they refused: horses were expensive to buy, horses were expensive to board, they knew nothing about horses, etc.  One night I was crying myself to sleep. My dad heard me crying and came into my room and asked me what was wrong. I tearfully told him "daddy I want a pony so badly it hurts." Three days later I had my very first pony, Miss Daisy.  

my Dad acting as the minister at the wedding of my pony Miss Daisy


Before my parents knew it not only did they have a pony, they then found themselves with their very own horse trailer. Eventually I outgrew my pony and they found themselves buying horses. Their weekends were consumed by horse shows and other horse activities. By the time it was all done my parents had wound up buying 100 acres, building a barn and putting in an all weather arena. I could never thank my parents enough in my lifetime for all that they did to support my love of horses.

When it was time for me to go off to college of course I wanted to take a horse with me. My dad made it clear that he would not be financing a college education and paying for a horse. He then made a deal with me, if I got a full scholarship he would pay for a horse to go with me. When my parents visited potential campuses with me we not only toured the school, we then proceeded to go tour the boarding facilities in the area.  Needless to say I secured a full academic scholarship and left for school with a horse in tow. My dad lamented to me many times how financially stupid he had been in regards to horses again when he made that bargain with me. 

driving his dogs around on the Gator

I basically gained a college education in working with and caring for horses all through my adolescent years and it has served me well in countless ways. My dad also taught me that I needed to be a person of my word and do whatever it was I said I was going to do.  My dad had zero tolerance for people who were all talk and no follow through. He believed in action, and he believed in never, ever making a promise you weren't going to keep.  As a result I tend to be a person that just gets up and does things and doesn't sit around waiting for someone else to do anything. Jason always says I am just like my dad and that inertia is not my friend.

miss you Dad

Having someone in your corner that truly believes in you is a very powerful thing. Everyone told me you can't make a living with horses, you can't make a living boarding horses, you can't do this, you can't do that. On the other hand my dad told me to go for it. He watched me sell a very successful company because I wasn't happy. He did talk with me about the realities of giving up financial security, yet never once tried to talk me out of the decision. When Jason and I built up a business, bought this farm and built everything from the ground up no one was happier or more excited for us than he was. When everyone else was saying you can't, he was standing there all along saying you can.  

Although I am a couple of days late saying it with this post, happy Father's Day to you dad. I can never thank you enough for my wonderful life.

________________________________________


Thomas


Rip and Elfin


Fabrizzio and Noble



Clayton and Kennedy


Renny, Johnny and Sebastian


B-Rad and Alex


O'Reilly, Lucky and Lightning


Traveller and Lily


Gibson, Flyer, Silver, Faune, Cocomo and George


Silver and George

6 comments:

Funder said...

What a sweet post! He was a great person and I know you'll always miss him. Hugs.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Lovely post Melissa. (((♡♡♡)))

Kate said...

Although you miss him, and always will, it's wonderful that you have such good memories, and learned so much from him.

SmartAlex said...

Let's hear it for the horse Dads! My mother was second generation horse nut and my Dad was merely horse friendly. He learned an awful lot about them through osmosis. I remember once a friend of my Dad's, whose daughters were climbing out the bedroom windows at midnight, asked "Charlie how to you raise your two girls without all these problems?" Dad just shrugged and said "I bought horses". I'm sure your Dad realized many times that those were the best financial decisions he ever made.

An American in Tokyo said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes!! What a lovely tribute to your father!! I'm sure that he is smiling the biggest smile ever today!!

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

What a wonderful post, Melissa. It also brought tears to my eyes. I lost my dad at age 7, due to cancer, so I grew up basically without a father. You were so lucky to have had such a beautiful relationship with your dad. I remember him well.