If it weren't for these guys, we wouldn't be here, so we wouldn't have gotten to see Sicily and Graham would not have a birthday...
First up, naturally, is my dad.
Lately, I refer to him more as "Grandpa Bill" than "Dad." He is an adoring grandfather who loves to get on the floor and play with his grand kids. My mom used to say that one of the reasons she married him was because he was so good with young kids. He truly has a gift. I remember spending hours coloring, hiking, and fishing with him. He always took the time to play with me, but he also taught me how to be respectful and always say, "Yes, Sir."
He also gave me my good taste in music (if I knew how to make one of those cute smiley face things, I would insert one here).
Next, is my father-in-law.
We call him "Grandpa Tom." We can always count on him to treat us to a meal at a diner and a trip to the farm when we visit Spokane. Some of Tony's fondest memories are of being on the farm with his dad. He taught Tony how to work and be strong and not complain.
He loves to give things to his one and only grandson, and he likes to spend as much time with him as his work schedule will allow when we go to Spokane. In the meantime, when we're not in Spokane, he sends awesome packages in the mail that always make Graham go crazy with excitement.
This is his dad, Gramps.
We call him Gramps. He's over 80 years old and still laughing all the time and loving life. He fought in World War II, raised nine kids, doctored lots of animals, and took care of Granny, whom he was devoted to for around 60 years, as she passed away. This devotion inspires Tony and I to stick with this marriage gig until our dying days.
Oh, and if you go visit Gramps, which you should, because he has a very soothing presence about him, give him a "mulie bite" from Graham.
Okay, now on to my dad's dad.
Grandpa Howell. I can say with a good amount of certainty that he never laid eyes on a digital camera, which explains the quality of the photos. My time with him was cut short because he passed away when I was in junior high. I remember him being a guitar-picken', story-tellin', fisherman. He taught me how to mix a delicious concoction of butter and honey and put it on one of Grandma Howell's piping hot biscuits. Mmmm. Pure bliss.
I miss you, Grandpa Howell. Rest in peace.
We also miss Grandpa Jack, who passed a little over a year ago.
Graham is his first great-grandson, and he loved holding him and patting him when he was tiny. Grandpa Jack's chuckle will forever be imprinted on my memory, and Tony can't look at the geraniums on our front porch without thinking of him. He passed on his work-ethic, ingenuity, love for plants, and quiet sense of humor to Tony, which happen to be some of the things I love most about Tony. I hope that some of those qualities will trickle down to Graham, too.
A Father's Day doesn't pass without me thinking of this next guy.
Grandpa Kelly. He likes to remind us every year that the idea behind Father's Day originated in Spokane.
He's also been there for me during some of the most difficult times in my life. He took care of me when my parents separated, got me out of bed to jog with him in the mornings, got me a car, and fixed it every time it needed it. Without his encouragement, hope, and expectations for me, I'm not sure I ever would have graduated college. Thanks for helping me stay motivated and not let my lazy bone get the best of me, Grandpa. And don't worry, I haven't given up on the idea of getting a Ph.D someday. Emphasis on someday.
Next is Uncle Hank.
He's obviously not a father to me, but I mention him today, because he chose to adopt our cousin's kid and has turned out to be an incredible father to her. I've never seen a girl love her father more than his daughter does. It makes my heart swell and makes me very proud to have him as my brother.
I'd also like to acknowledge Father Adams today.
He was our spiritual guide through high school and through our wedding ceremony. He is such a gentle soul and so easy to talk to. He helped shape our faith and make us into the couple we are today. I know he's helped a lot of youngsters in this world and I hope they all remember him on Father's Day.
Last, but obviously not least, I want to say happy Father's Day to my beloved husband.
I might be a teensy bit biased, but I really do believe he is the best father in the world.
For lots of reasons.
Not least of which is because he always takes the time to dig in the sand with his son.
Have a good day, everyone.
And don't forget to go kiss your father figures today.