Modern Day Superman

George Smith, my father, holding one of his granddaughters.

“My hair’s turning white,

My neck’s always been red,

My collar’s still blue.

We’ve always been here

Just trying to sing the truth to you.

Yes, you could say

We’ve always been,

Red, White, and Blue.”

“Red, White and Blue,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Chances are a good many of you have met my dad. He’s the kind of guy everyone knows. Maybe your furnace was broken on a cold winter night and he came over and fixed it. Maybe your pipes froze and he thawed them out. Maybe you’ve met him out and about while you were having dinner, or maybe you ran into him at the annual block party he holds for the neighborhood during the summer.

My dad, George, embodies what you would picture a good man to be. He is kind, hardworking, generous and loves his family. If you’ve ever heard the song, “Red, White and Blue” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, that is a pretty good idea of what he is like.

One verse in particular always sticks out to me: “If you want to know where I’ve been, just look at my hands.” The man knows what a hard day’s work looks like — you can tell by the callused, rough hands he has earned after so many years of labor. My dad owns a heating and cooling business, and seemingly can fix anything.

As a youngster, I saw that my dad’s hands were rough, but for some reason, I just thought he liked them like that. It didn’t quite occur to me until later in life that they were rough because of how hard he worked to support his family.

When I was little, I was so excited to go out on calls with him. He would always introduce me as his “little helper.” I would hold flashlights or get tools for him when he needed them.

Dad brought my sister and I glow sticks at night after the races, even if he didn’t really have the money for them. When he was driving mail truck, he would let us tag along on the overnight runs. We would stop and get donuts on a stick at a favorite donut shop.

When I was a child, he fostered my love for music by quizzing me on who sang which songs while we rode around in the car, he encouraged me to pursue my dreams of writing and he always was there as a support when nothing was going right. To this day, he offers a shoulder to lean on when life gets stressful.

But, he’s always really been that way.

He is the kind of man who will make sure everyone else has something before he does. He looked after us all, working two or three jobs just make ends meet. Obviously, no one but Jesus is perfect, but I still think of him as an everyday Superman.

These days, my dad has become a superhero to my kiddos. He loves them with every fiber of his being, and is constantly wanting to dote on them. He jokingly sends me picture messages of things he’d like to get my eldest, such as go-carts, four-wheelers and other highly dangerous, yet excitingly fun contraptions that she doesn’t need and I don’t want.

“Can she have this?” he’ll ask.

“No!!!” I reply each time.

He is a great father, a wonderful grandfather and a beautiful person — and I am lucky to have him.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of that man. I can’t tell you how proud I am to call him my father. There just aren’t words for how much he means to me, but I figured I would try to give him a little recognition the best way I know how –he has certainly earned it.

Dad, I usually have a lot to say, but the only things I can think of are: “Thank you” and “I love you.”