My Daddy's Loving Legacy

The year was 1970 and I was three. As the sun crept into the horizon and the house became quiet, I skipped to my most favorite spot, baby doll in tow.  I climbed into my dad's comfy recliner. He scooched  over and wrapped his arm around me. I giggled, cooing to my doll as he watched a John Wayne movie. It was a night-time ritual for years. The old recliner formed to our bodies. It was a perfect fit . . . a safe sanctuary. I never wanted to grow up.  

As a child, there's no better feeling than snuggling with your daddy, your protector and provider. It saddens me that many don't have happy childhood memories. It's heartbreaking to know that some have difficulty accepting the love and grace of their heavenly Father because they've never experienced it from their earthly one.  I am eternally grateful that my dad modeled God's compassionate love in such a  profound way that I had no difficulty understanding  God's agape love.

Today my dad would have turned 73 so  I thought I would share his legacy. Well, a tiny bit of his legacy, to tell his whole story would easily fill a book. My daddy grew up in poverty, had little education, yet built a successful business through hard work and dedication. He constantly found ways to show his wife and children how much he adored us. 

When I was a child and got a boo-boo, he never said, "don't cry" or "chin up". Instead, he held me and whispered, "I wish I had a magic wand and could take this pain out of you and put it into me." As I looked into his eyes, I knew it was true. I always felt his deep, sacrificial love. 
When I was a sophomore in college and told him I decided to major in psychology, he bought me a huge trophy that  read, "Susan Dulin: Best Psychology Student in the World."  Whenever I doubted myself, I looked at the trophy on my desk. Knowing he believed in me gave me confidence. That was the type of daddy he was . . . always affirming, my biggest cheerleader.

I don't want to romanticize his memory, he wasn't a perfect man. But he had a passion for life. I think he was the happiest when he was racing cars with my brother or riding horses with my sister. His eyes sparkled when he surprised my mom with breakfast in bed or bought her a new car. On Valentine's day, he didn't just send my mom roses, he gave flowers to me and my sisters as well. He looked for ways to pamper us, to show us his love.

Today, as I remember him, I choose not to dwell on the years when Alzheimer's slowly stole his memories, changing his personality, hiding his smile. I choose to remember who he truly was. A beautiful man, strong and vibrant, dimpled smile, caring eyes and compassionate heart. He loved spoiling his children and would do anything to see us laugh. What an awesome example of my heavenly Father.

If you didn't receive this type of love from your dad, know that God, your heavenly Father, loves you beyond measure. He wants to shelter you, protect you and give you wonderful gifts. He loves to hear you laugh. He wants you to know and experience him. To top it off, He's preparing an awesome home just for you. It's as easy as accepting His son, His ultimate gift to you.


  1. Oh Susan,
    What a loving and kind tribute to your Dad! It brings a smile to my face; love the pics! :)

    I too, am so grateful for a having such a loving Daddy (he died several years ago, but the memories are still fresh and alive!), and especially for my loving relationship with my Heavenly Father.......

    Enjoy your week and be blessed!

  2. Once again Susan, you have touched on sensitive subject matter with grace and dignity!

    What a tribute to your Dad! And I needed to hear this message. I am one of the ones who struggles with not having a loving home where I was able to catch a glimpse of my Abba, Father.

    Maybe someday I'll blog about that, but not yet... not yet...

    Hugz to you!

  3. What a great post that really hit home! I wish everyone had an earthly father like yours!

  4. Hi Susan, I'm your blog's latest follower. I'm grinning here because your profile says you're fluent in sarcasm. Me too. You'd love my friend Stefanie. She reckons we should have a sarcasm font! :) anyway, firstly, thank you for commenting and following on my side. I appreciate it and secondly, great post. I love my dad. When I was little I think I was his favourite. But as he got older he has gotten crochety and negative. He is not a believer but God wants salvation for all. So I pray.
    God bless, look forward to your next post

  5. Wonderful! It is the richest of legacies left by a devoted Dad.

    Like you, my own father (who died when I was but 16) is at the top of my list of heroes. He adored my mother & we four girls; and he loved the Lord. One begat the other, of that I'm sure.

    You do your Dad proud.


    P.S. Thank you for dropping by earlier. I always appreciate a visit & comments :)

  6. Beautiful tribute to your Dad, Susan! What a wonderful example of our Heavenly Father's love! And what fantastic memories you can cherish of an earthly father who loved you beyond measure. God bless you today!

  7. Dear Susan, I am so thankful that you visited "Being Woven" for I also needed to read this. It is the beauty in the life of one who loses parts and pieces of their mind that I, too, want to remember. Oh, thank you for sharing the relationship with your father for mine father has been gone since I was twelve...51 years now. And I remember those things of him. I want to remember and see that of my mother today and after she is gone.
    This has meant more than you know.
    Bless you, ~ linda

    PS...I have read parts of that book. I shall get it out.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your father. Remembering all the good times helps to put the latter years in the back of our minds.

  9. what a sweet story and remembrance.
    he seemed like such an example.

  10. Susan, your tribute to your Dad brings tears to my eyes because I can read so much love between the lines.....truly He gave you a good view of our Father in heaven and what a blessing that is for a child.....

  11. Susan ~ With tears streaming down my face as I read this for the second time today all I can say is you said it perfectly!!! We did have the privledge to have the best father, friend, and mentor any one could ask for. Thank you for the rush of memories today! You are a great author and your writings bring everything to life and as if were just yesterday. I love you very much!!!!

  12. This is a beautiful and moving tribute to your dear Dad. Thank you for sharing it and helping
    us see more of our Father in heaven.

  13. Beautiful words of honor for your earthly father...thank you for sharing these memories with us. I am praying that God, your heavenly Father, hold you close tonight and comfort your heart as you remember your dad.


  14. susan that was very good your daddy was more of a father to me than an uncle i loved him very much and i miss him every day as i sat here tonight watching rio lobo on tv a john wane movie i had to smile no one will ever know the empact he had on my life i didnt realize it my self for quite some time he had a special way of bringing out the best in every situation he helped everyone he could and had much compation for his fellow man every one that knew him was the better for it he touched many lives and is dearly missed he gave me something no man can ever take way he taught me a trade and gave me the knowlege to make a living and feed my family and most of all he taught me the true meaning of of love and the miportance of family. Danny

  15. Thank you all for your affirming words. The bittersweet memories are all sweet now. :)

  16. Nice post..thank you for sharing...i love it...God bless you

  17. I love your post! thanks for sharing... Loves soraya

  18. What wonderful memories of your Daddy. It is wonderful when our Daddies on earth give us a glimpse of the love our Heavenly Father has for us.