Number One … Bob Rocks … So much, in fact, my sister renamed today “Bob’s Day“. Just needed to make sure we are all on the same page.
After I first got diagnosed with bipolar, my life took an unexpected turn when only weeks after I received a call from my mother saying my awesomesauce daddy was going to need bypass surgery. Though I was devastated, it put much in perspective for me. How? By the way he approached the situation.
Bypass surgery is terrifying … for the whole family … but my dad stayed overwhelmingly positive through the entire process. To this day, I believe it was his attitude that got him through. And if he could stay optimistic during such a time of uncertainty, what was I doing pissing and moaning for having an illness which is NOT life threatening, and NOT something that requires surgery, and NOT something that had no treatment options? I’ll tell you what I was doing, I was sporting a really shitty attitude. NOT an attitude I was raised to carry with me.
Since what was probably the WORST Oct-Dec I hopefully will every experience, I’ve done my best to be like my dad. Even in the worst of times, I do what I can to stay on the positive end of the spectrum. I make the best of every situation and every opportunity. I look at every setback as a step forward. Why? Because that’s what Bob would do! (I totally need to manufacture WWBD bracelets!)
But it’s more than just his positive attitude that keeps me going. My father is the epitome of a supportive parent. Ever since I can remember, he has cultivated and encouraged every dream I’ve had.
In grade school it was basketball. He went to EVERY game and bragged to everyone how I was the star player.
In high school it was music. EVERYTHING surrounded music for me. Choir, voice lessons, singing at graduations, weddings, funerals … My dad was always there with the old 1090’s, bigger than a bread box, 10lb video camera (size and weight may be exaggeration … but a small one). He captured every moment he could on VHS. Then, once again, went and bragged to everyone what a good singer his daughter was. He’d tell me how I gave him goosebumps every time.
After high school, I unfortunately (actually, it ended up being very fortunately) found myself in a position no 19 yr old wants to be in. I was pregnant. I was scared as shit when I found out. He was the last person I wanted to tell. I feared he might go after my husband with a very SHARP pair of scissors or at the very least, maybe a baseball bat. End the disappointment. I just KNEW he’d be disappointed. But when I sat down with him in our family’s den, I took a deep breath and spilled the news. The conversation went as so …
“Dad, I’m pregnant.”
“Oh,” he said. “Do you have a plan?”
Was this a set up? I needed to stay calm. “Yes, I do. Boyfriend and I are thinking about getting married, I’ll keep my job, as will he, and we are already looking for an apartment.”
There was no fire in his eyes, no fumes spouting from his nose or ears, he just remained calm and said, “Well it’s good to have a plan.”
I couldn’t help it, I had no clue why he was being SO nice and understanding. We’re Catholic for monkey’s sake! “I don’t get it,” I said. “Shouldn’t you be really mad or something?”
He smiled. “Now what use would that be? If I got mad that would just upset you, and if I upset you that will just upset the baby. Why would I want to do that?”
He was worried about upsetting ME!
Yep, that’s how awesome he is.
He was there with perfect dad advice through every up and down in my marriage. Helped move whenever he could. Was always there for a hug. Attended EVERY birthday party for my kids or me or my husband.
He, although he has a very difficult time doing so, read the first book I offered to my family.
He bought my new book right away, printed out the whole damn thing and is reading it right now.
He reposts every blog my sister or I write. Reposts every link I share about bipolar.
And guess what else? Oh yeah, he totally brags about his daughter and how she’s an awesome writer. He’s such a bragger!
And to top things off, this past winter, when I faced one of the most difficult situations in my marriage, he was right there. My husband moved out and I had very little to my name. I couldn’t get a job, cuz I didn’t have a car to get me there. I was a mess. Without me asking, without me even considering requesting, my dad called me up and let me know he was buying me a new “CD Player” … one that just happened to be attached to a mini van. He might not know it, but I cried. I NEVER thought anyone would do something so HUGE for me. But I was in need, he was able to help, and so he did.
After I reunited with my husband, I was sure he’d regret helping me out with such a large gift. I mean I obviously didn’t NEED it anymore. I felt horrible and almost backstabbing and like I took advantage of him only to go and get back together with the man whom was the reason I needed a vehicle in the first place. But he wasn’t upset. He was happy he was able to help.
The van broke down unfortunately, but guess who was the one making sure I had a rental car, and then when it came time to buy a replacement worked super hard with his car dealer to make sure my husband and I got the best deal possible? Yep, that was my daddy!
He’s amazing, supportive, way too proud of me, and oh yeah … he’s hilarious! He makes everyone smile. People who don’t even know him, but see his comments on facebook go and friend him because it’s inevitable … they figure it out right away … Bob Rocks!
So here’s to you Daddy! I love you more than words could express. Thank you for being you and the best dad a child could EVER ask for. You (and Mom of course … she pretty much rocks too!) are the reason I am who I am. If you want to be proud of someone, you should be proud of you. You raised some pretty amazing kids and we all love ya bunches!