My father embodies the words heroism and survivor. He survived a tour as a grunt soldier in Vietnam. Through my life his perseverance has stood as a beacon of strength. One could call it stubbornness, but I see it as an enduring legacy of brute force and honor. No matter how old I get, I will always be his little girl. He is certainly a strong force but I know the more gentle side: the side that always read me, “Twas the night before Christmas” on cold Christmas Eve nights, the side that sang to me ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone’, and the side that always had a lap for snuggling. In days when I have faced circumstances that I saw no way out; I have tried to do what my father has taught me. I have seen the challenges and tried to take them on head first. Now I find him often telling my daughters the same stories of his survival in Vietnam, and I know there is another generation learning from his fortitude.
My husband, Dan embodies the words diligence and dedication. He is an immigrant to America that came to this nation legally. He has worked hard. He dreams big. He is an active member of our daughters’ lives; constantly reminding me that life is too short not to remember to ‘dance in the rain’ and enjoy the moment. He has raised a spiritual standard in my family, and as a result our daughters see what a man of faith looks like daily. In the days where I have faced consequences that I wanted to run away, he has always been there to remind me the need to see things through.
Pastor Arthur Lee embodied the words faith and endurance. He was an ex Rodeo guy who got a hold of the gospel and would not let it go. He loved me as if I was one of his own. He was an activator. He walked me through a difficult season in my life, and would not let me fall. He saw me on the other side, and encouraged me forward. In the days I wanted to quit because circumstances seemed so big, he reminded me to see the bigger picture. He left this earth way too early, but my life is forever changed because of him.
A father’s love makes a little girl shine. I am forever grateful for the gifts that these men have been in my life. They taught me how to stand tall, and to never quit. They’ve all shown me the world needs to hear what I have to say; so instead of spending my time seeing how big circumstances may look, I need to persevere to see the finish line.