My Dad

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My dad is so cool! He’s a charmer, a singer, an artist, a soldier, a director, a provider, a comic, a gardener…my teacher.

For much of my life, Dad has been my inspiration. From grade school he has encouraged me to hone my artistic abilities. He’s a professional artist – has been since I was eight. He sees beauty everywhere and much of the time it brings tears to his eyes. Then he has this uncanny, God-given ability to paint the landscapes in his mind. He’s also one of the few truly talented calligraphists in the country. His art has been published for years through a Christian publishing company. They’ve produced posters and calendars of his work. He’s retired now but still, when I’m out shopping at our local Christian bookstore, I’ll come across his work. Pretty cool, huh?

I wrote this poem for his birthday a couple of years ago…

I remember watching Dad
When I was only nine,
Creating pictures for the news
And adverts for the Times.

He inspired me to watch and learn,
To see beauty everywhere.
He gave me guidance as I tried
To express myself with care.

As we traveled on vacations
He pointed out the sights;
Showing much appreciation
For the expression of God’s might.

The waterfalls, the sparkling streams,
The chipmunk on the wall,
Were shown to me through his eyes
As we walked to view them all.

The mighty oak reaching to the sky
With gnarled limbs and shade;
Dappled sunlight shining through,
Creating wonder with all God made.

I thank you, Dad, for inspiring me
To see beauty in the world;
I feel a fullness, a breadth of wonder
You have helped me to unfurl.

My dad’s awesome.

How about you? Not all of us have a dad like mine, I understand. But who in your life has inspired you? Who saw something in you that needed to be nurtured and took care to help it blossom?

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23 responses »

  1. Beautiful poem Michelle šŸ™‚

    I love my dad and it felt like we always had a “close” relationship but in retrospect a lot of it was futile and superficial. My dad was intimidating and used his status of “Pakistani-male-privilege” over us all the time but at the same time bought us stuff and gave us money all the time. The emotional separation has become even greater between us since he wrote me an email the day of my wedding which has been hard to forget. It wasn’t very nice at all concerning my choices and specifically concerning my husband and his race. I was shocked and not sure I’ve fully recovered although I continue to ask God to help me with that.

    Phew. Sorry. Your poem brought all of that up. I adored my father growing up and it just shattered me when I learned later on just how our relationship really was.

    Going onto someone who’s inspired me in my life. My husband most definitely. He is such a wonderful man and he exemplifies having faith and not getting anxious and easily afraid when things are not looking good. I admire his calmness so much. He inspires me to be calm. Then my friend T. She has sharpened me in so many ways. Helped me along the early days of my Christian journey and really been there for me in some difficult moments with my family.

    I can think of some other people who have blessed me with their love and wisdom but I don’t want to barricade everyone else’s comments with my essay long comment šŸ˜‰

    Love you Michelle XOXOXOX

  2. Good evening, Gchyayles, I’m glad you shared. I am praying for you and your time this weekend with your mom.

    We don’t all have the same backgrounds and yet God has His hand on us and brings people into our lives to help fill the void. No parent is perfect, speaking as one, we try, but we can’t be everything for our children. Sadly, some don’t try much, then others are too dysfunctional even if they are trying, they’re not much help, needing so much help themselves. But you know all that, studying to be a counselor…people, family will disappoint.

    Praise be to our Heavenly Father! He cares, He comforts, He loves unconditionally. He fills all the void we have within and then on top of that, for some of us, we’ve been given amazing spouses as well. Your husband is such a wonderful gift to you, a gift our Father in heaven knew you needed. You are a truly blessed woman.

    I’m thankful to have you in my life as well. Your wisdom and beauty are inspiring to me.

    I ♥ U 2!! šŸ˜€

  3. That was a great poem Michelle! šŸ˜€

    Is there anywhere online that we can see your dads work?? I wonder if any books I have from our Christian bookstore were done by him?? Very cool!

  4. Thanks, Brandy. šŸ™‚

    He worked under the publishing company’s religious name – Argus. Since the company owns his art they can republish as they desire without giving him credit, taking pieces and chopping them up at will. His calendars were published in the 90’s – I don’t know if they’ll ever republish those works. I can’t even scan them in to show them on a public blog, since they’re the company’s property. He has many of his own works but hasn’t reproduced them. šŸ˜¦ Thus, the starving artist label…

    He worked for Barney (the purple dinosaur) for years, got me some work there too, years ago. Kinda cool. He’s the stereotypical artist – he’s never satisfied with his work, doesn’t even think he’s all that good. Ridiculous! šŸ™„

  5. Makes my ♥ smile to know you have the Gift of a Father who cares so much here as well as above Sis šŸ˜‰

    Brandy’s right – very cool to have your Dad be a part of Christmas like that.

    My Dad had it tough growing up – and it hardened him a fair bit.
    Having said that he was about as kind and as loving man to his family as he could be – but circumstances caused him to do it mostly by himself – he did not turn to God for help at all.

    He was a singer and an artist to – He could have been a professional singer and been tutored by a great of English music – but he chose a ‘career’ over his love of singing and regretted it a lot in later life i think.

    I have not taken after my parents greatly – except in the love of family – small as it is (but growing šŸ˜‰ ).

    As for nurtuing – i have my maternal Aunt to thank, i think – a teacher who early on helped me develop a love of nature and of learning – she nurtured an enquiring mind with trips to the country, museums, galleries, churches and historical places.

    She never had kids of her own and never married – but she could not have done a better job of raising anyone than she did with me. šŸ™‚

    I owe her a lot.

    Nice post. šŸ™‚

    <B

  6. Thanks, Love, and he just lives down the street, I’m very blessed. šŸ™‚

    Maybe our fathers really were the same? Naw, my dad never went to England. šŸ˜•

    Your aunt sounds great, was this in England or Australia – either way, pretty awesome countries to explore! God does put wonderful people in our lives, some of us are fortunate enough to have them as family as well. šŸ˜‰

    I’m really appreciating my blog family these days! šŸ˜€

  7. Feels so good to have family ‘close’, hey Sis? šŸ™‚

    This was in England – i left when i was 11 and have seen her only twice since then once here, once i visited there.

    Lots more ‘culture’ in a small area over there – but had it been here i am certain she would have taught me just as much. šŸ™‚

    God sure can provide for our needs – so agree there.

    Often they don’t match too well with our ‘wants’ – but i trust God has the greater Wisdom than you or i šŸ™‚

    I really appreciate them too! šŸ™‚

    <B

  8. A blessing? Me…?

    Well, golly gee willikers! Thanks, Michelle! šŸ˜‰

  9. Wow, Love, only twice? That must be hard…is she still alive? I hope you still have family around…I love having mine so close…most days. šŸ˜‰

  10. Good morning, Michelle!

    First, let me tell you I love your post. Very much.

    I have a lot to thank for becoming who I am ā€” my parents, grandparents, my brothers, and a lot more (my family is close-knit). But mainly, I look up to my father. I just admire him a lot. He’s a farmer and a fiction writer in our vernacular, but it’s not what he does, but who he is, that I admire the most. I like how he is devoted to God, and I admire how he deals with people and how he and Mom cared for us as we were growing up. He is the inspiration of one of my earlier short stories, and many of my poems.

    It’s great to have good people to look up to, especially when one is growing up and still uninitiated about the ways of the world. Often, whether we become good or bad in later life depends on the influences we have had as kids. I’ve good influences, so I hope I’m somewhere on the good side, despite my shortcomings as a person. šŸ™‚

    Thanks for this post, Michelle. God bless. šŸ™‚

  11. Good evening, Brain Teaser!

    I’m so glad to see you here and to hear another positive father story…I need to come read some more of your blog. How ’bout tomorrow? I know your day is just starting but I’m ready for bed.

    It is GREAT to have good people to look up to, AMEN!

    May God bless you, Brain Teaser. šŸ˜‰

  12. Hello Michelle! I’m back. I’ve been to NorEaster’s through your blog. Can’t explain what I’m feeling. I’m so deeply touched.

    You’re always welcome in my blog. šŸ™‚ In fact, I’d love to include you in my blogroll if it’s ok with you. Please…

    Sweet dreams….

  13. Good morning, you two. Although it’s evening for y’all. šŸ˜‰

    I slept long and hard – must have been exhausted! It’s Memorial Day in the States so we all have a day off. My brother and his kiddos will be coming over later to swim. He has the most amazing wife and four beautiful children, six years and under. I have a feeling I may go to bed exhausted again tonight. šŸ™‚

    Sherma, I added you to my blogroll and am quite humbled you want to add me to yours…thanks! NorEaster does have a way of deeply touching one’s heart. He’s a writer as well, you’ll probably love his site.

    Sweet dreams to y’all… ♥

  14. Michelle,

    Very beautiful post and I love the Dad poem. I totally get your Dad’s artistic side. Your descriptions made me laugh. Publishers don’t want any of my work I have already posted but I don’t want to wait months for publishers to make up their minds and get back to me. So I usually post and forget about publishing. Last year I grossed $74 šŸ˜† with my poetry.

    Who in my life has inspired me? Its hard to pick any one person to hold up. My track coach helped be realize I could lead. My science teacher encouraged me as a speaker when he heard me one time. Several friends (in person and in blogosphere) who have affirmed encouraged my gifts with their kind and heartfelt words.

  15. ♥ U 2, Love!

    It was good…tiring…but good. Everyone (16) showed up…whew! šŸ™‚

    Good morning, Ric, and thanks.

    Woo-hoo!! $74 in one year!! šŸ˜‰ Artistic talent and a profitable business acumen don’t often reside in the same mind. šŸ˜¦

    Teachers can really make a difference in a kid’s life…and friends. šŸ˜€

  16. Just checkin in and saying Howdy!!! Waiting in anticipation for your next post…Blessings to you my friend, and hope ur having a stupendous day!!! I ♥ U!!! šŸ™‚

  17. Ok, took me for ever to get back here.. lol

    Dad’s work is great! The good news is Argus is out of business (sad for them), so, I dont know for sure – but I think there isnt a copyright on his work anymore. We have to look into that.

    We obviously have different memories (10 years difference). Dad was home for most of my young life. But the feelings are mostly the same. He does have a wonderful talent – being able to show God’s beauty in his paintings, and his calligraphy – well, It’s just greatness (I believe the only competition would be Timothy Botts — but Dad is better šŸ˜› ).

    Anyways, just dropped a line to say I came back to check you out. Don’t say anything mean about me šŸ˜› . And my wife is pretty cool, and my kids are just greatness — thank you.

  18. I would NEVER say anything bad about you!! šŸ˜³ šŸ˜‰

    Why haven’t you been around? It could have something to do with that gorgeous wife and those sweet babies…you’re a blessed man, Bro. Burt!

    I need to look into scanning in Dad’s work…if it’s all legal now. šŸ˜Ž

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