Friends, Fathers, and Fitness #100HappyDays

Day 67:  Great conversations make me happy.  Cornelius (my bestie from college) and I had a wonderful phone conversation–I love catching up with him!  We even made plans to get together in person later this summer and I can’t wait.

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Corn and me last summer. You could say we were excited to see each other.

Day 68:  Fridays make me happy.  Sometimes you just gotta celebrate the end of the workweek!

Day 69:  Morning walks make me happy.  My boyfriend and I took a walk around the neighborhood before the heat of the day (and the rain) set it, and it was awesome.

Day 70:  Celebrating fathers makes me happy.  Father’s Day!  This day is tough for me (check this post for reasons why) but I was joyful because I got to celebrate two awesome men in my life.  My stepdad (whom I just call “Dad”) is one of the greatest men I’ve ever known (look here to see just how awesome he is).  Even though we didn’t get to celebrate together, I loved hearing his voice on the phone and was glad I got to tell him how much he means to me.  My boyfriend and I also made dinner for his parents so we could celebrate his dad–a great day spent honoring great men!

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The two men who shaped me into who I am: my biological father (top) and my stepdad (bottom).

Day 71:  Learning more about fitness makes me happy.  I had a session with my personal trainer and we talked about how diet impacts fitness goals.  He sent me home with a task to complete–track all my food for the day so we can review it during our next session.  I’m excited to find ways to improve my diet (and hopefully improve the results from my workouts)!

Day 72:  Office days make me happy.  This is my last office day before a straight week of training customers.  Trust that I’m savoring the moments of working in solitude with my headphones in.  🙂

Daddy Lessons

Last Father’s Day, I ate tomatoes in honor of my late father. My daddy wasn’t perfect, but he was mine, and I am sorry he left this Earth so soon. 

Losing my biological father at a young age taught me a lot. I learned to be independent, that women can do anything men can. I learned about the black hole of addiction, ruins families and takes lives with complete indiscrimination. I learned to cherish each day with the ones you love. I learned to grieve. 

But God–in His infinite grace–knew I wasn’t finished learning. So, He sent Malcolm. 

Malcolm didn’t come into my life until I was an adult, but he immediately became that father figure I needed. He laughs with me. He fusses at me when I need to be fussed at. He gives me advice about work, love, and life. But most of all, he is there

Whenever I need anything, I know Malcolm is there for me. Just like fathers are supposed to be. He’s never tried to take my father’s place, but–whether he knows it or not–he’s started to fill the void my daddy’s death left in my heart. 

Malcolm has taught me so many things too–I couldn’t begin to list them all. But the most important lesson he taught me is, even if you aren’t their biological kid, a dad will be a dad because he loves you. Malcolm met me when I was already grown and living my own life, but he stepped into that role because he wanted to. He didn’t have to get so involved in my life, but he did.  

Thank you, Malcolm, for the all the laughs, love, and lessons. Happy Father’s Day. 

So many lessons.

On Fathers Day, I Ate Tomatoes

My father died when I was 13. 

Since then, I’ve felt his absence with each year. So many milestones were met without him there. Getting my first boyfriend. Passing my drivers test. High school graduation, college graduation, move to a new state, receiving my MBA–each passed without his presence. 

Every man I loved made his way into my heart without first gaining the trust of my father. Perhaps this is why I’ve been so unlucky in love. There wasn’t a man who loved me more than any other man could to provide an example of what true love is, to set a standard by which I could evaluate every man who comes into my life. 

My daddy was an alcoholic who lost his life to cirrhosis of the liver. I’m angry at my father for some of the choices he made, but I don’t doubt for a second that he loved me and my mother. Addiction has gotten the best of many, so I can’t judge him–what good would it do anyway?–and sometimes addiction is stronger even than love. 

Regardless, I’m proud to wear my father’s name. I miss him every day and cherish the memories I have of him: his laugh, his smile, how he used to call me “Mama.” His undying love for UK men’s basketball. How he’d wear jeans even on the hottest days and rarely seeing him without a hat. How we used to fight over the last tomato from our neighbor’s garden, but in the end we’d always share it.  

So today, Fathers Day, I ate tomatoes. I drank a beer (his beverage of choice). I cried for the missed moments, those that have passed and those that are to come. But I smiled too. I remembered the good times and I thanked God for sending me my daddy, even if I only had him for a short time. 

I miss him so much. But I know he is watching over me. I hope he’s proud. 

  Tomatoes, with a sprinkle of salt, and a beer in honor of my daddy.