Saturday, June 20, 2009

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...

Thank you to the man I owe EVERYTHING to! Father's Day is a day that has exceptional meaning in my life. It is a day that allows me to reflect on the appreciation and respect that I have for my father. What an amazing man! Those closest to me know the sacrifice that this man made to make my brother and I the people we are today. He is a man of few words. Clearly, that is not one of the traits I inherited, hence being told in every single parent-teacher conference that I talk entirely too much! As I work now to talk less, and listen more

There was never a doubt in my mind growing up that we were number one in your eyes. You showed us this day in and day out. You were by my side in every activity, game, recital, etc. When you and mom got divorced, you had nothing, however, in your eyes, you had everything....your kids. We lived in one bedroom at Grandma and Grandpas and although I couldn't see it as well as I do now, I know it was a daily struggle for you to give us what we needed. When I thought I HAD to have the same, cool and expensive basketball shoes that everyone else on the team had, you found a way to get them for me. When I was looked down upon by other parents because I was being raised by my single father, you found a way to prove to them that you did a better job than most parents raising their kids as a team.


There are a lot of memories that stick in my head from my adolescent/teenage years. You taking me shopping for homecoming dresses, having to deal with the fact that I was becoming a woman, therefore having to deal with "woman" things and hormones....on your own. Trying to understand the weird things that me and my girlfriends would do and not to mention the boyfriends that just never seemed to be good enough in your eyes. There are a few memories though that really stick out. Some might think it is silly and I know I have already shared it with those closest to me, but these are the few that I think about when I feel like I am being selfish in my own daily life. Taco Bell used to have a 49, 59, 69 cent menu. Money was always tight and when we would go, you would have it exactly calculated out how many items we had enough money for. You would let Denny and I place our order and then you would place yours. Never once would you put yourself ahead of us. You ALWAYS had the exact same amount of food as us. Being in your 30's and probably STARVING, it didn't matter. In that one bedroom we shared at Grandma and Grandpa's, there were two twin beds and a cot. Instead of having Denny and I take turns sleeping on the cot, you put yourself in the rotation, even though your legs hung off at the knees. At my 6th grade dance recital, you were the only father back stage. What were you doing back there? Attempting to apply my stage make-up because over your dead body was I going to be the only one out there without bright, rosie cheeks and red lipstick.
Back then, I may not have seemed grateful. But I hope you know, that as I have grown, and started a family myself, I am grateful for you everyday. For your sacrifice and your constant drive to "succeed" in raising us. The fact that you always put us first will never be forgotten. You never dated, you never went out, your sole purpose in life was to provide for us and be there for us during those crucial years in our lives. And for that, I thank you! I thank you for never letting me go to sleep without telling me that you loved me. I thank you for never really falling asleep until you knew I was home safe each night. Last but not least, I thank you for making me set my expectations in a man so high. For teaching me that I didn't have to settle because I knew there was a "perfect" man out there for me to spend the rest of my life with and have as the father of my children because I was raised by a "perfect" man. I found that man dad. He is wonderful, honest, and the most amazing father. Thank you for teaching me that a man like that exists.
Thank you for being you!
XOXO,

6 comments:

Colleen said...

OK, seriously Karissa, this is way too much for me tonight!

I LOVE YOU MR. RADER!

I hope he reads this and realizes just how much we BOTH love and adore him, and I have only known him a few short years, but he is truly a fantastic, wonderful, AMAZING man!!!!!!!!!

The Taco Bell story is enough to make me cry everytime, I didn't even know the cot rotation, GOD I LOVE HIM! Why did all your friends go after your bro, they should have gone after him!!!??????

K to the M said...

Your so sweet :)

He never reads my blog, but I did send him the link last night, so maybe he will check it out.

Josh and I were cracking up at your comment!! I guess some people just can't get by the age difference and Denny was the closest thing to him!! Ha Ha!

K to the M said...

Since I'm pretty sure my dad doesn't know this comment section exists, he DID read the post :) I have copied his reply (sent to me thru email)...

"It has taken a while for the tears to clear.

You will never know how much reading this means to me. You have always made "me" feel special. I am so proud of the woman you have become. I have put this in my favorites so I can read it (and listen) whenever I want.

Even though it may not seem like it at times, you and your brother are on my mind and in my heart everyday. I AM so proud of you.

I LOVE YOU
DAD"

He's so cute :)

Colleen said...

I just want to eat him up! He is darling!

The Gourleys wild ride said...

Good lawd I am crying my eyes out!

Crystal's Creations said...

Dangit Karissa you have me bawling my eyes out. Maybe because I know your dad and he is a wonderful man, or maybe it's because as you know my dad shares the same place in my heart as yours does!