HIS NAME WAS HERB.
His name was Herb, and he is the first man I remember loving, the one man whose opinion of me always counted, the one man I knew I could trust and the man by which I would always judge all other men…. He was my DAD.
He was a soft-spoken, gentleman with a sense of humor and a profound love for his family. He worked hard to provide for us and he never complained. He loved his wife without condition and he raise his children with a firm but fair hand.
The relationship between my father and I, is what made me the person I am today. From as far back as I can remember he was my champion, my knight in shining armor, my fair-tale prince and my safe harbor. He never judged me, even when I made some of lifes biggest mistakes and he always made me feel beautiful. He inspired me to do my best, and to face life head on and he never let me down.
I remember sitting on the back porch with him and crying my eyes out over a young man who had broken my heart. He sat there quietly and listened as I ranted and raved about how unfair it all was, then he reached up and wiped away a tear, took my hands in his and told me that even thought my heart was broken there would be a young man some day that would love me as much as he did and I believed him.
I never wanted to disappoint him but I remember the day I told him I was pregnant. I wasn’t married and the young man was no longer in my life. I remember the look on his face when I said the words. Instead of hearing what I feared most, his eyes softened and he hugged me close. He told me that no matter what he would stand by me. At that moment in the circle of his arms I understood what “unconditional love” really was. I knew I had hurt him and let him down but he stayed true to his promise and the day my own daughter was born, he was there to welcome her to the world despite knowing I had planned on giving her up. Three days after I got home from the hospital, I went to him and told him I just couldn’t do it. He smiled at me, kissed my forehead and said…”thats my girl” now let’s go get that little one. He made me believe that everything would be ok and it was.
After I married I had 3 more daughters and he had become their fairy-tale (grandpa) prince, (grandpa) knight in shining armor and (grandpa) hero. He gave each of them the same love he gave me and he filled their worlds with joy, laughter and security. I will always be thankful for the endless love he had to share with us all.
He is no longer with us but he has left behind 5 women who will forever treasure him, love him and miss him. The best I can hope for is that he is watching us and beaming with pride over the women we have become.
Footnote: I was gently reminded that he was the grandpa knight in shining armor, the grandpa prince and the grandpa hero as my girls have a great Daddy of their own. But thats fine…I am sure he would have loved those titles just as much.