Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day Salute: How My Daddy Became My Buddy

Father’s have a significant impact on the lives of their children, and my Daddy, Rev. Irvin L. Hickman, had a huge impact on mine.

My Daddy is the first man who ever loved me. He’s the first man who ever told me I was beautiful. He’s the first man who I knew I could trust completely. And to this day, I know that no matter what, my daddy will always have my back. He’s my steady anchor and a source of great wisdom.

Growing up, Daddy and I used to have long talks. I’d sit on the edge of his and my mother’s bed and we’d talk about all sorts of things. When I turned 16, Daddy and I had an interesting exchange that I’ll never forget. It was very simple, but it had lasting effects.

Daddy – “You need a buddy, and I’m gonna be your buddy.”

Me – “I don’t need a buddy. I’ve got friends!”

I was trying to assert my teenage independence by letting him know that I was just fine, and I didn’t need a clingy chaperone watching my every move. I knew right from wrong. I made good decisions. I did well in school. I stayed out of trouble, and I was a smart young woman. I had it all figured out. Ha! The truth was that my Daddy knew what I didn’t…that I hadn’t a clue in the world about the complexities of disappointment, love, hurt, loss, hardship, or the other tough lessons that life would teach me once I left the safety that he and my mother provided.

As promised, Daddy became my buddy. He monitored me like a hawk, continued our long talks, enforced a strict curfew, and gave me a ton of “unsolicited” advice that I thought was old-fashioned gibberish. When I’d tell him my views on life, which were almost always opposite from his, he’d just smile at me and say, “Keep on livin’.”

I lived, and boy did I learn. Each year that passed my Daddy grew wiser and wiser in my eyes. Actually, he’d always been wise, I just didn’t realize it until I came face-to-face with the things he’d warned me about all those years ago. My father isn’t a perfect man, and he doesn’t have to be. He’s God-fearing. He’s fair. He’s the strong, silent type. A man’s man. Rugged. Solid. Hard working. He taught me what to look for in a man, and he told me that my price/worth was far above rubies.

Thank you Daddy, for all the support you’ve given me, the lessons you’ve taught me, and the love you continue to show me.You are the BEST buddy a girl could ever have!

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