A Gift of Words

My dad doesn’t say much.  But I guess that’s how it goes when you have a wife and three daughters.  You become the minority.  The single voice.  It has it’s benefits though.  Anytime he wanted to speak, one of us would quickly hush the others even if the others included Mom–it was that rare.  Then a great silence would fall over the room as we’d hold our breaths and wait to hear what Dad had to say.  After thirty-one years, I can honestly say things haven’t changed.  We’re still unrestrained and he’s still closed. But that’s why this little card means so much to me.  It’s a card from my dad.

Over the years, I’ve collected a number of cards and letters from friends and loved ones.  But none of them have been cherished as much as this small piece of yellow and white paper.  Everything about it screams Dad to me.  The square-ish zig-zags around the border.  The tidy handwriting.  The single yellow balloon sticker.  The clean and simple layout.  The theological encouragement.  It’s my dad in a nutshell.  And what makes this card stand out from the rest is that he wrote something extra.  Words that he didn’t have to write.  Words that I rarely ever heard him say out loud.  Words that I didn’t have to hold my breath and wait for.  He offered them up freely in the tiny space of an unassuming birthday card.

The words inside are golden.  They are the kind of words I think every little girl deserves to hear.  And of all the people in the world to give them to me, it was my dad.  He said them.  The man of the house who rarely said a thing.  That’s why I knew he really meant it.  He wanted to say it, and to this day, it still means the world to me.  I don’t have a clue as to what presents were given to me that year.  But I do know I’ll always be grateful for this precious card.  No matter how old I look and how many more birthdays I have, I can always rest assured knowing that hey, I’m cute.  Dad says so.

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