Dad, My “True Knight in Shining Armour”
When I was a little girl my Daddy was my Hero, the one I ran to when I was sad, hurt, when someone was mean to me, or when I really wanted something. He has always been great fun to be around. He is a Navy man, a submariner, an electrician, a good husband to my mom, a fantastic grandfather to my sons, a wonderful great grandfather to my grandchildren, a dedicated brother to his sisters (they talk on Skype twice a week) the one that keeps in contact with almost everyone in his entire family. He keeps up with technology, current events, politics (an Obama supporter in Florida) A very brave man. He travels to see me and my sister wherever we happen to roam all over the country.
When I was in elementary school my Dad played Santa Claus in the School Play. When it came time for him to come down the chimney I remember him coming out butt first and making the whole audience laugh. Again later in school we had some crazy contest where our Dad’s dressed in drag and had a beauty contest. Yep, My Dad wore a dress, stockings and heels. We even stopped for gas on the way to the contest and Dad got right out and pumped in his pumps! He came home with a bouquet of weeds and a title.
He was there for me when I didn’t make the volley ball team and held me like a child while I cried like a baby. He was there for me when as a teen my boyfriend was killed in a car accident and again held my like a child while I cried like a baby. He has picked me up and brushed me off too many times to count and each time turned me around and pushed me forward to become the woman I finally managed to become. My Dad has come to my rescue continually over the years and yet I was always looking for my Knight in Shining Armour “Out There”.
I have made more than a few mistakes in my life, though each mistake helped put me on the path to where and who I am now, so perhaps they were bumps in the road more than mistakes. No matter where or when I happen to go over these bumps and how hard I fell my Dad has always made me feel like there was a safe haven for me to come home to if I needed it. Now my parents are taking care of my maternal Grandmother 24/7 right now. They even built on an addition to their home with handicap accessible rooms, bathroom and shower. My Dad has given up much of his freedom in a time in his life where he could be traveling, playing golf all over the country, and pretty much be doing things that make him happy. But instead he spends most of his days at home helping my mom with her mother, day after day after day. Now my Dad is human and does his grumblings about this and that…but he is there and every day continues to be there.
I am a very happy go lucky kind of girl and this I owe to my Dad. I get my bounciness, silliness and my super intense emotionalism to my Dad. He has always been an emotional guy. I learned this as a little girl and used it once or twice to my advantage. I once got caught skipping school and boy was Dad mad. He grounded me for ever! I remember after a while I wrote this poem to my Dad about if you love something and let it go it will come back, but if you keep it caged up it’s only a pet or prisoner…or something like that. He, being the emotional guy he was, let me off.
My Cancer diagnosis hit my Dad pretty hard but he never let on to me. He has been positive, talkative, energetic and ever so supportive. We set up a oovoo.com account (a free video conference service) my Mom and Dad talk to me over Video almost every single day. My Dad and both my sons shaved their heads to show their support for me, my “Three Bald Musketeers”.
After all my searching through my life for my Knight in Shining Armour I finally figured out that he was there all along. My Knight in Shining Armour let me go out into the world to grow up to be a woman, but was there all along to cheer me on, pick me up when I fell down, nudge me in the right direction when I was going off path and put the pieces back together when I didn’t listen to anybody and jumped off the cliff a few times.
My Knight in Shining Armour is and has always been My Daddy John Mullin.