by Terrica (Hoskison) Smith
What is it that I love about my daddy? Of course there is memory after memory and story after story, but what is it now? What are the things that even today when they cross my mind make me smile?
Let me think....I love his overalls, the only clothing he’s ever worn. I love that I know what Round House and Big Man are, even though no one else in the world does. I love his beard, even when it’s so bushy you can barely see his eyes, in fact, I think that’s when I love it the most. I used to make threats at the slightest suggestion that it be cut off. He wouldn’t be my daddy without that beard. I love his farmers tan, and the fact that he has maintained it for more years than I’ve been alive. It’s so flawless it would put most teenage girls to shame. I love the way he tells the same story two or three times, in a row, just to laugh at the same punch line again. That alone is what makes me laugh, more so than the stories. In that way, he’s just like his daddy. And I love his exaggerations. Whether it’s wild boars the size of fallen trees, or storms that blow away entire cities, you’ll never hear a story out of his mouth that isn’t fascinating. That’s one trait that was passed on to me and irritates my husband to no end. He’ll say “Terrica, it was NOT ‘just the other day’ it was over 8 months ago!” I just smile the more upset he gets. He’s just doesn’t get it. Daddy would know exactly what I was talking about.
I love how angry he gets when he drives in traffic. He just doesn’t understand why other cars don’t clear out of his way like cattle when he drives through a pasture. He always starts yelling, “I’m gettin’ road rage! Turn that radio off I can’t see! ” Or better yet, “Move that visor I can’t hear nothing!”
I love that we have owned and raised every breed of dog that exists, and at least two of every other animal, just like Noah. I know my Daddy could have done that job! In fact, he’s probably got a boat right now that would work just fine for that job. I love his collections of stuff, and how he blames moma when something’s missing, just to ‘run across’ it months later beneath a stack of junk, um, I mean treasures, and respond so excitedly, “I‘ve been looking for that! I knew Shanna lost it...she always does...just like that time she burned my tennis shoes.... (you don’t know that story?— well, ask him!)
I love when he tastes something good, everyone at the table has to taste it too, off of his fork no less, and no amount of arguing will change the inevitable. Your gonna taste it, and like it! “Yeah, that’s good huh?!?” I love that he plants enough watermelon and cantaloupe every year to feed an entire third world country, and delights that there is always some elderly gentleman knocking at the door weeks in advance wanting to know “Is the cantaloupe ready?”
I love how I can always tell when he’s about to make a joke over the phone, because even though I can’t see him, I can hear him smiling, and I know its coming. I love when he sings, in the car, at home when I want to watch something on TV, in the shower, you name it, he’ll be singing there to anyone who’ll listen. Sometimes he even sings to his animals when no one else is interested.
I love, thanks to him, when we discussed the life of Andrew Jackson in my college level American History class, I was the only one of 200 people who knew what battle Andrew Jacskon was most remembered for, Daddy’s singing to the rescue -- “Well, in 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip, we took a little bacon and we took a little beans, and we fought the bloody British at the town of New Orleans, WELL......”
And I love how he hears everything, no matter how personal of a subject or how quietly you talk, he’s bound to hear, and oh yes, add his two cents, from the other room! I love how it never fails that if I want to watch a movie, he has to watch it too, and always, always, falls asleep in his chair snoring so loud it shakes the windows. But when I ask and plead with him to go to bed he always says the same thing (with his eyes closed), “I ain’t asleep! Leave me alone, I’m watching this movie.” Or, if he’s been asleep in front of a blaring TV for hours and moma gets up in the middle of the night to turn it off, he says, “Turn that back on, I was watching it!”
And you know what I really love? I love the twinkle in his eye, and yes it’s really there, just like stars, when he wants something or more so when he wants me to do something for him. His eyes really DO twinkle. And when I see it, how am I supposed to say no? I sometimes do argue just to hear him beg, and he always does, and I always do.
And I love it when I quietly walk by his chair and just as I pass him he grabs my arm nearly ripping it off and says, “I need a hug! Your daddy needs a hug.....you don’t ever hug me anymore cause you moved off and I never get to see you...” I love that he always calls me Tirzah, and her Terrica. I love how he loves everyone and would do anything for anyone, day or night, and has. And I love how every time he sits at the back of crowd and watches me, his eyes always fill with tears. And I can’t look at him cause I can’t handle it, but I love it.
You know, there are some things and some people who just can’t, and shouldn’t change. My daddy is one of those people. And it’s so funny to me how when I talk about him people always laugh and say, “You still call him Daddy?” Yes, I do, and I always will, because that’s who he is. That’s all I’ve ever known. Nothing else seems right. And I love how when I talk about him, people always walk away feeling as if they know him, too. And you know why? It’s because I’m just like him, in more ways than I would like to admit, and in so many ways that I cherish. If you’ve met me, you’ve pretty much come face to face with him.
It’s very much like the God we should all portray. If you know your Daddy, then others will know Him, too. Hours and days and years of being with Him and around Him, always result in you being like Him, a reflection if you will. Not everyone has had the example I did, and so all I can do is be thankful, because I did have that example and I still do.
There’s really, truly no way to describe him, except with one word, Daddy.