My First Love

Blog by Tracey Graham

I remember well growing up, my dad was the strongest man I knew. I’d seen him carry oil barrels on his shoulders when we would go to his job. He worked two jobs to support our family and never once complained. In fact, he is known as a man of few words. So early on I learned to really listen when he spoke to me.

When it came time for my sisters and I to date, well he wasn’t ready to think of us growing up. Our boyfriend’s would have to come to dinner before they were allowed to take us anywhere. My dad would sit in his chair, literally growling at the boys, scaring them into running out of our house and we’d never see them again.

Finally, when I had moved out of the house and began dating in earnest, I thought I had found true love. He was a hard worker, just like my dad. And when he would forget a date, I would chalk it up to him having to work and just being busy.

He proposed to me, and of course I said yes, because I loved him he was perfect. He went to my parent’s house with me to dinner to ask my dad for my hand in marriage. My dad sat there growling at him and never actually answered him, but I’d seen this before and so I thought nothing of it.

The day arrived of my wedding, and there I was waiting with my dad to walk down the aisle. He turned to me and said “Would you like to go have a burger and talk about this?” I should have listened to him that day. My marriage was a wreck, with my husband aloof and emotionally detached. So when it was finally over, and I was ready to begin my life again, my dad sent me a card with the words “Would you like to get a burger and talk about this?”

I cried and realized that my first love was a love so pure for my dad. He would never lead me wrong, and would always have my best interests at heart. And I made a promise to myself that the next time I hear those words from my dad, we would go get a burger so I could listen to his wisdom.

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