Most children believe at some point in their lives that their daddy is one of the “biggest and strongest men in the world.” I used to be one of those children, and even though I have since come to the realization that he isn’t Hercules, at sixteen years old I now recognize that spiritually he
is one of the strongest men in the world.
My Daddy, Jeffery Alan Brannon, was born into a fatherless home where he was raised by his mother and grandmother. Throughout his childhood, he was allowed total freedom to do and go wherever he wanted. This liberty and independence resulted in a demoralization which would take years to correct. When he was only 12 years old, he began taking drugs, and from that point on he was mentally blocking any guidance or wisdom which any one more mature could offer him. After having been through the seventh grade for the third time, Daddy quit school and continued hanging around with the friends who got him involved in this awful state to begin with.
Although he tried many times to stop drinking and doing drugs, his bad habits prevailed; that is, until he was 23 years old. It was then that he met a Christian man who redirected his paths and helped him finally, once and for all, tear away from his old acquaintances and begin a life which wasn’t focused on himself, but on Jesus and his fellow man.
Whenever I hear Daddy tell this story, I think of the strength that it must have taken him to turn his back on all that was familiar to him and to change his life in such a drastic and important way.
A few years later, after having become stable in his career and his abstinence from his past addictions, he met the woman who was one day to become my mother. They met at a singles meeting at the local Baptist Church, and, as Daddy tells it, he was ready to get married and had planned to ask out the prettiest girl there. Well, as the Lord had it all planned out, nine months after they met, they got married, and another nine months after that they had me! (They really like to get things done.)
My parents now have four children and the best relationship with each other that they could have hoped for. Daddy is the backbone of our family. He supports us, provides for us, and, most of all, loves us--no matter what storm is taking its toll on our family.
Someday in the future, I will probably get married and move away, but I will always cherish the values my daddy has taught me and will never forget the Christian morals he has always instilled in me.
I will take with me all the memories he has given me and treasure them in my heart forever. I will remember the times my siblings and I would hear his big diesel roar into the neighborhood and always run out to meet him, jump on the running boards, and give him, big hugs and kisses through the open window.
I will treasure the times when he was willing to talk to me even when he couldn’t see over the mountain of paperwork on his desk.
I will always bear in mind the special “dates” we would go on from the time I was very young, when he would take me out to dinner, and then, for the highlight of my evening, let me drive around an abandoned parking lot. Most people view things like this as trivial, but events like this have made my childhood all the more special.
Daddy is so strong that he is always willing to break himself away from what he wants to do today in order to pour his time and love into me so I will be a stronger person tomorrow. I am so blessed that God saw fit to place me into the family He did. Of all these things which I love about my Daddy, I think the thing I will always cherish most is that he is, and always will be, one of the the best, and the strongest daddies in the whole entire world.
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