My blog is about my gratitude journey. What I’m grateful for. How I appreciate my life journey and the lessons I’ve learned. In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would write this week about how grateful I am to have had the privilege of having what I consider as one of the world’s greatest father’s! My dad, what can I say? From the time I was a little girl he could do no wrong in my eyes. That is not to say that he didn’t have his share of issues, as God knows he did. However, the demons he faced never stopped him from being a loving, kind man that had unconditional love for my mother and his family.

Growing up, my father wasn’t around us a lot. He and my mother divorced when I was around four. My father had an issue with alcohol for many years. Eventually, his illness became too much for both he and my mother to deal with. My father, who always believed that we are responsible for the choices we make, decided that he needed to make a choice to leave and find help. It was his desire to get well for himself and his family. I know this might not sound like a man I should look up to or write about, but it is not the man he was that I admire so much, it is the man he became.

Even though my father had an issue with alcohol, and for several years he didn’t have a strong presence in our lives, the impact he made on me as a young kid was powerful. He showed me love. He taught me to cherish my name and who I was. He told me that being a Grant was something to be proud of and I should hold my head high. He taught me to be fearless. Actually, growing up as a Grant you didn’t have a choice. My entire family was fighters. They fought anyone and everyone; even each other. It is the truth, but I realize that’s where my determination to overcome whatever I face comes from. I wouldn’t change a thing about who I am and the family I was born into.

By the time I was thirteen, he became a new man; he became the man God would have him to be. He became a man that was sober, strong, a good provider; a man that would lay down his life for his family. My father became my hero. He loved my mother like a woman should be loved. She was respected, adored; he put her above all others except God. He taught me that I was to be loved in the same manner.

This is a man that when I became pregnant at age 17 and was going into labor he took me to the hospital, walked me up and down the hallways and stairs. He held my hand in the labor room. He wiped my tears. He covered my hospital bills and made sure I had a private doctor. He saw me through difficult and dark times. He was a caring man, a kind man, but he was a man not to be messed with. When I got out of line he reminded me who was boss.

When I thought I was going to try to put one over on him, he would tell me, “Gina, never try to con me, because I wrote all the rules to that book.” And he did. You had to watch him with your good eye. He was sharp, intelligent, and well read. He used his knowledge and wisdom in life to learn to deal with all types of people. I miss him. I didn’t realize how much of an impact he made in my life and in my families lives.

I remember when he became ill, I prayed that God would heal him and bring him home.

On December 22, 2004, I went to visit him at the hospital. He was recovering and preparing to come home the following week. I took all his grandchildren out to visit him. He was so happy. After a long two month battle in the hospital he was finally going home and able to eat his first solid meal. He had enchiladas, if you know my father, he hates Mexican food. How do you grow up in Texas and hate Mexican food is beyond me. I asked him how was it? He said it was good enough to be his last meal. We laughed and the nurse said “Mr. Grant, don’t say that, you are going home next week.” He said, “I’m going home, I just don’t know which home.”