During a long overdue family vacation last week, my daughter and I were walking up a steep hill back to our vehicle. We had been boating all day and would be returning the next, so we left my sister’s boat at a slip for the evening. My husband and son had taken off ahead of us, carrying items that we didn’t want to leave behind. My daughter and I also had a cooler and a swim bag filling with things that needed to be either dried out or exchanged before the next day. Between the heavy items, the steep hill, and the extreme heat, my daughter’s patience waned pretty quickly.
“We’re fine. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and we’ll get there,” I said.
Of course, she rolled her eyes. “Why did we get stuck with the heavier stuff?” She thought her dad and brother had gotten off easier with the smaller items they had taken ahead of us.
“Don’t you worry,” I said with a smile. “Your father will be back before we even reach the top.”
“How do you know that?”
“Haven’t you ever notice that when there’s work to be done, your father is always the last to be finished. As long as he is around, you are never alone.”
It wasn’t long after I made that proclamation that the man himself appeared at the top of the hill again. He jogged down to where we stood and took the cooler from her and the bag from me, then turned and climbed again.
Now hands free, my daughter leaned over to me and whispered, “I have the coolest dad.”
“And I hope you never forget it,” I said.
He may not be a man of many words, but he doesn’t need to be. Over the past twenty-plus years I’ve known him, his consistently selfless actions speak for themselves. I truly hope my daughter can find a man of her own that is cut from the same cloth one day.