So, tonight as I was readying myself for bed, I searched for a book to read before laying myself down to sleep. This is a nightly ritual, and one that can get me in trouble, for I stay up far too late reading books. I looked through a stack of books I had beside my bed and realized I had read them all. I got up to look for something else - surely I hadn't read them all! Lo and behold, I reached into my closet and found a book my Dad had given me for x-mas. It is entitled Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Does this sound like a book that would keep me reading until the wee hours of the morning? Most likely not. However, I thought about this book more and more as I handled it, and read my dad's note on the first page which reads, 'Merry Christmas Erin. One of the great histories written by one of the 20th centuries greatest figures! Love, Dad'
If you know my dad, Douglas, you know that he is a lover of literature. He is a passionate man, my dad. For as long as I can remember he tried to get us to read books and instill within us the same love of literature as he had. During summer vacations we'd get a dollar for each book we read, but I think only a few of us actually took the bribe. Dear Dad, he has always been kindly persistent. I remember a time when he gave me a Tony Hillerman book to read. It didn't 'look' like what I'd like reading at that age (there was no love story). However, once the stubbornness subsided, I would finally give in and read the book suggested. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I think he could see that I was perhaps more easily persuaded to enjoy books than the other kids in our family. He still gives me books to read that he has had on his stuffed-full-of-books shelf for years. When I finally changed my major to its last, it was to English Literature. Naturally, a place that felt like home.
So, tonight as I sat there looking at this book, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what my dad has helped instill within me; the love of literature and a thirst for knowledge.
He gave me this book because he knew I enjoyed history, but he also gave me this book because he thinks I'm an intelligent person. He not only looks upon me as his feminine daughter that enjoys pretty things, but he looks on me as an intelligent woman that has the ability to further my knowledge of the world. He knows I have potential. This knowledge gives me confidence. It gives me confidence in my own intelligence and abilities. I really appreciate my dear dad's thoughtfulness, his kindness and his love. I don't often come to realizations like this, so I thought it would be best to record it somewhere. What better place then on this here blog o' mine.
Daddy Doug can usually be found sitting on his grand leather chair, next to the fire, surrounded by his books. At Christmas time, there will be music playing 24/7. Sometimes he'll fall asleep in his comfy chair, with reading glasses still clinging for life upon his nose. I enjoy that sight. I'll remember it for years to come. But mostly, I'll remember what he has taught me to love by example and gentle nudging. Thanks, Dad. Love you.