I had a pretty strong connection to my dad right away even if I didn't meet him until I was eight. I distinctly remember my parents wedding day (how many kids can say that?) and I think it was just meant to be how everything worked out. He's my dad through and through. I'm the one who would sit in the basement (his woodshop) and watch him make things out of wood. He would even give me scrap wood for me to make cool tables and things for my Barbie empire.(hey, my entire walk-in closet at that house was Barbieland. or 'a mess' if you asked my mom.) He's a fantastic wood craftsmen and I'm pretty proud of every little gift I have made by him. There's something special about holding a wooden pen made by dad.
I've (shamefully) given my dad so much hell through the years, but, you have to believe I have a huge amount of respect for the guy too. He's the one I could whine at to get my way and can be quite a teddy bear. I will always cherish how he was the one who ultimately soothed out so many stresses with the wedding. Even though it wasn't his thing to have a huge formal wedding (he would have really liked for everyone to grab a cheeseburger from the Burger King drive through, wave, and leave), he was there for me.
I have so many crazy good memories about dad. Him dressing as Santa Claus, driving through the streets of C-ville embarrassing me by yelling "WE GOT PIZZA HUT" out the open window (and honking the horn), teasing me about boys, always getting us ice cream, regaling us with tales about the dump, giving us rides on the tractor, walking through the woods, singing Elvis songs, making me watch John Wayne movies (OVER AND OVER), talking like Arnold Schwarzenegger (making t-shirts with him looking like Schwarzenegger!), all his dad-isms, ALWAYS CHANGING THE OIL ON MY CAR, and so on (this list could carry on a long time)
I know I didn't cry or get emotional when he walked this little girl down the aisle and I know I didn't cry when we had our father-daughter dance (I was sooo happy that day!) .... but today as I write these words I'm filled with tears knowing how much my dad means to me. He's bitchin, trust.