~I wrote this tribute and presented it to my Daddy, Ray Lee George on Father's Day 2008. This framed document sits on the mantle above the fireplace that he built in his beautiful log cabin.~
A Tribute to My Daddy
I know you have many regrets, and as a parent I realize how easy it is to focus on the mistakes we've made with our children. Rarely do we consider what was done right. So I want to take this opportunity as your daughter to tell you what I appreciate most.
I'm not sure what drew you and Mom together, but I do know the breakup was especially difficult for you because of us three children. Thank you, Dad, for not running off to Florida when given the opportunity, even though that probably would have been the easiest road for you to take. You did what real men do: you put your children first.
From the time I was a little girl, you were my Hero. I thought you were the most handsome man in all the world and you drove the coolest truck! Some of my favorite childhood memories were made in that little trailer on Hillside Drive. We girls firmly believed that you needed us to clean for you. Then you would spend the next week hunting for all the things we had put away. There were Friday night races, Saturday afternoon swimming at Bryan Park, jigsaw puzzles, paint-by-number, guitar picking, and Jerry Clower. How I loved to hear you laugh at the antics of Marcel Ledbetter.
I'll never forget all those Christmas mornings you came to whisk us away to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a fun day. Remember the noise? And the laughter! These memories are forever etched in my heart.
Things I've gotten from you: A love of gardening-you have this way of instilling in me excitement and anticipation even in the month of February! I am not easily stressed-out; like you, I choose to wait for things to blow over. We both tend to forgive rather than hold a grudge and to look at the better side of our circumstances. The ordeal with Clyde could have been a cause for bitterness had you not wisely focused on the fact that God gave you an awesome dad in Grandpa. You passed down to me a love of history and enjoyment of writing and story-telling. Oh, and of course, I walk just like you!
Thanks Daddy for being such a wonderful Grandpa to my children and for sharing your childhood memories with us. We all love to hear about Fido, Bill the goat, and how Grandpa gave you a hatchet so you could build log cabins, though Grandma thought you were too young. You've instilled in your grandchildren a sense of adventure and an appreciation of the "simple things in life".
I wanted to honor you this Father's Day by thanking you for all the countless ways you've invested in my life and to say thanks Daddy, for being the man that you are. I love you Daddy!