A papa is someone who puts others before himself.

A papa is someone who never puts a lady in a compromising situation.

A papa is someone who never gives up, even when the road ahead looks like a dead end or when there appears to be no way out of the well.

A papa is someone who never leaves his family.

A papa is someone after God's own heart.

A papa is someone who serves others no matter the personal cost to himself.

A papa is someone who would always protect those closest to him.

A papa is someone who would give his life for another.

"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

A papa is someone who is fearless.

"To me, Fearless is not the absense of fear. It's not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death." -Taylor Swift

A papa is someone who is always there.

A papa is someone who is there to pick up the pieces and put people back together again.

A Popeye (papa) is someone who swoops in and saves the day.

A papa is someone who never gives up, never quits, always keeps moving forward no matter the price he pays for it.

Papa,

We have had our ups, we have had our downs. In the beginning things were good and you had dreams. You wanted to give us the best of everything. Even though you tried to run away from the fear of failure, and from the fear of your past. You wanted things for me, to be innocent and girly and faithful and kind, you wanted me to be loved and to love. You wanted me to be the best that I could be. And then times got tough and our "perfect" life came crashing down around us. As we welcomed a new life, we also said goodbye to another. All that we thought we knew, all that we had been taught, all that we had clung to so desperately seemed to dissolve and disappear. It was only a tiny portion of the massive web of what God had planned for us all.

In the years to come emotions got closed off and feelings withheld. We all had our own pain to deal with and our own demons to battle. We all withdrew from each other and created our own worlds. Through it all, you never left us. That is what I told myself whenever I would be angry at you for losing your temper or for not understanding my feelings. Whenever I isolated myself as a teenager, full of irrational anger against you, that was the one thing that always soothed my anger, you never left us. You stood at our side, leading us and keeping us held together like glue. You pulled us through our darkest hours, being a hero to us all, always coming in and saving the day, scooping us up into your strong arms and holding us tight while the world outside tried to tear us down. You fought against anxiety and depression, you fought day and night against temptations and you battled your own demons but, who was there to be your hero? While you helped us fight our demons and win our wars and hold us together or mend our broken hearts, who was there for you? Who was there to mend your broken heart? Who was there to fight your battles? Who was there to hold you together while you held us together?

We had our fights, our broken hearts, our dark days. We had our moments when we thought we could not go another step forward, we had our days when we felt like all that was left to do was to give up the fight. But you never stopped, you never gave up, and you didn't let us quit. You pulled us out time and time again, like a faithful Shepherd tending his flock, like a faithful farmer pulling his cows out of the deep mud time and time again. We had our fights, we had our fall outs, we had our laughs and good times. We had our bright sun shiny days because you did that. You worked hard to put food on the table and to provide for us, but more that that you gave us good memories and fun times. The camping trips and weekend vacations, the year long journey through history and the east coast. The ferry ride and the aquarium. The wild mustangs and the camel trek. All the tims we sat around the campfire and made s'mores. All the fishing tips and time spent by the lake. All the hours we stayed up on the boat with bows and arrows waiting for the next gar to surface.

You were there to soothe our tears, to calm our fears. You were there when the thunder scared my socks off, telling me that God was just dumping His tater wagon. You were there when I was so sick I couldn't leave the bathroom, always so steady, always so calm. You were there when the night terrors started. You were there when I couldn't see the light of the next day. You were there when to scoop me in your arms and reassure me that I'd get to come out of my room sometime that day. You were there when I rode my first bike, to pick me up and kiss my boo boos alright. You were always there, so constant in our many storms. Even though, so many times, it felt like you were not.

A papa is always there. Never giving up, never letting go, never quitting, always moving forward and putting the pieces back together. Always pulling us out of the mud and steering your sheep away from the fearful edges of the cliffs we would try to repellent down without ropes. You never left and I will never forget.