The biggest gift my father imparted to me was to witness how well he loved my mother. At four years old, I remember feeling such relief when he entered into our lives after my biological father passed away. He was calm and kind. I felt safer just because he was around. Never spoke a negative word about my bio dad.
Never made me feel like I had to choose. He was much too secure for that nonsense.
My mother was extremely conscious about the man she would introduce into her daughter’s lives knowing the significant impact this relationship would have on our future. She was intentional that this man would be a man of high morals, intelligent, and would love her girls as much as he loved her. And my father didn’t disappoint.
I witnessed him simply love my mother. He handled her with respect and tenderness. He never tried to dim her light! I witnessed mature love. I witnessed sacrifice. I saw how a couple endures… to this day.
When I became a teenager and started smelling myself, he reminded me that my mother was also his wife and he wouldn’t tolerate me disrespecting her. He only had to say, “Tiffy, I am disappointed in you." and I would crumble. Yet when I had my first heartbreak, he solemnly walked me to the gate at the airport and reminded me that I was worth so much more (while slipping a little extra change in my purse… just in case).
When I dated in my 20’s, I would become angry and complain that he set the bar too high and it was unrealistic for me to find what my parents shared. Yes, I strayed and dated men who were opposite of who he was. And it was fun for the moment but I knew … this was a moment in time!
So on my wedding day, when my father walked me down the aisle to give me away to my husband, he gripped my husband in a brotha hug, looked him in the eye, and implored him to take care of his daughter.
And my husband has. Not in this fairy tale way but in a way that endures. You see, my father set the stage for MY daughter to expect nothing less than to be treated with respect. You set the bar high, Roy! I will love you forever for loving us.