Friday, July 9, 2010

My First Boyfriend

Dearest Blogger Friends:

It’s me, Susie – Sara’s favorite (actually only) – guest blogger. I’m writing this guest post for her today with the heaviest of hearts. Sara received word today that her dad passed away suddenly of an apparent heart attack. He was out on a boat with Sara’s mom and her aunts and uncles on the most gorgeous of summer days. He was doing one of the things he loved most and had just winked at his wife. A few moments later, he mentioned that he didn’t feel well. He then collapsed and was unable to be revived by family or paramedics. It is still so hard to believe – he was the picture of health and he and Sara’s mom had just visited on the 4th of July. Please keep Sara in your thoughts and prayers and know that she wishes she could call or e-mail each one of you personally, but that is impossible right now. I know I could never put into words what a wonderful human being Mike was, so I’m going to attach a previous post written by Sara on February 6, 2009 that speaks volumes about the kind of person Mike Frankl was.

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Flashback Friday: My First Boyfriend

dad me ring

That's my dad, giving me a ring for Christmas when I was a little girl. The photo was taken in his office at the hog farm, and I truly have no idea why that would be the location he chose to put a tiny little ring on my tiny little finger... but it's another great example of the "what" mattering more than the "why" or the "how."

Because this picture embodies the character of my dad. He is a man who is filled to the brim with love. He's the guy who would get on the floor to talk to you, who would be interested in your stories and would take the opportunity to tell you how loved you are, what makes you special and what makes him proud. He's also the dad who would tease you mercilessly, tickle you until you begged for mercy and climb trees to hang homemade swings, only to get stuck trying to figure out how to climb back down. He has always been a big kid, which made being his kid a whole lot of fun.

I was obviously too little to remember being in this photo, but I can imagine the story he was telling to keep me so entranced. I can hear him, all serious, "Now, if a guy would just be extra careful with a little ring like this you won't lose it... there were pert-near 30 rings in that store, but this one was the prettiest." Because every good story dad tells has to have the phrases "if a guy would just" and "pert-near" in them somewhere.

Mostly, I love that this photo isn't taken under a perfectly lit Christmas tree or when we were all dressed up to go to midnight Mass. I love that he stopped in the middle of his day, dressed in his farm clothes... his snap-front shirt that surely had a pen and a tiny notepad in the left front pocket and his smelly jeans with a holder for his pliers on his hip... to let me know that I was his girl. He knew how to savor his moments, and I'm so glad I have the photo so I can look back and savor it, too.

All my other boyfriends had no idea what they were getting themselves into... that first boyfriend of mine simply made it impossible to measure up.

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