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Kara Sewell: My father, the hero

When I think about my dad, I picture bedtime prayers, board games around the dinner table and being pushed endlessly on our tire swing in the front yard. Those activities turned into rides to school, learning how to fish and meaningful talks.

I'm sure it doesn't surprise you to learn I was quite the sassy high school girl. On one particular occasion while my dad and I were conversing in the car, I told him

I couldn't wait to turn 18 so we could have ‘adult conversations.' I was sure he would take me more seriously once I was legal. Ha!

I'm still not sure he takes me that seriously but I don't blame him. Father's Day brings up a lot of emotions for people and I understand they aren't all warm and fuzzy; many people don't get misty eyed when they talk about dear old dad - so if you're one of those who do, count yourself blessed. I am one of those people fortunate to have a wonderful dad who selflessly raised us and taught my brothers and me to be strong and moral.

On a side note, he couldn't have done it without my mom but since I started this blog after Mother's Day, her kudos will have to wait until her birthday in August when she turns 35. (wink, wink)

My dad, Doug, is hard worker, he started his own business when I was in elementary, helped my mom pack school lunches and taught Sunday school for more than a decade. He guided our family emotionally and spiritually, he wasn't always perfect but he wasn't too proud to say I'm sorry and he wasn't afraid to cry.

He cares for me so much he waited until he and my mom could drive out to see me to tell me my childhood dog Sydney had died; they didn't want to do it over the phone.

As a young adult he was a guide, helping me maneuver through real life struggles like new jobs, moving out of state and breaking off an engagement (that's an entire other blog post!)

While still an ear, in my 30's, it's nice our relationship has progressed to one of friendship. In fact, last summer my husband and I traveled to Europe with my parents. Eleven days cruising through Italy and Greece and we still like each other?! I would call that a friend!

My dad didn't have a great father. My grandfather walked out on my grandmother when my dad was three and only saw him a handful times in the years that followed. He credits his spiritual father and mom for making him the example he is today.

I tell you this because we don't all come from ideal circumstances but I believe we can still be ideal people. Some of us just have to choose our mentor instead of being given one.

I have dozens of emails with words of encouragement, wisdom and humor I can pull from anytime I need a push or pick me up.

I would challenge you to send an email of encouragement to someone you know or love. Perhaps it will include biblical scripture, quotes from the Dalai Lama; whatever inspires you let it impact someone in your life. Be a father to the fatherless and I think we could change the world. I'm fortunate, I get to see my dad this father's day weekend and say thank you in person.

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