You know, everyone always compliments me on how much I look like my mother. Yes, it’s true, I absolutely share her physical attributes, however my personality, grit and entrepreneurial spirit comes from my Daddy.
For a long time I thought my Dad was mean. He seemed so unreasonable sometimes because when he believed something, he BELIEVED it. Once he grabbed ahold to something there was never a moment of waiver of where he stood on a matter, on what was right and what was wrong and how we would operate as a family unit. He would shut nonsense down in a minute and could put the fear of God in you with a stare. There wasn’t a whole lot of talking with my Dad when a decision was made. As a child I did not have the capacity to understand this characteristic. As I have grown older, I realize I am just like him and he and I can be like two bulls in a china closet!
At the same time, I would see my Dad be so incredibly tender. Riding home from church, we would see people laying on the street in a drunken stooper. My Dad would take us home and say “I’ll be right back”. A few minutes later he would have that same person who couldn’t hardly walk coming in the front door. My Dad would personally bathe them, wash their clothes, offer them his clothes and then welcome them to our table for a hot meal. As a kid, I would turn my nose up because the person stunk or I didn’t understand why they were acting like that. But what I remember most is my Dad showing kindness and love to a complete stranger and my mother supporting him and making their small budget stretch to feed one more. We didn’t “talk” about the person, we just accepted them as they were and gave them what we had.
My Dad was a penny pincher. All loose change had to go in a jar. Once it was filled my brothers and I had to sit at the kitchen table and help count it out, then roll it in the bank papers. My Dad would always take me with him to Citizens National Bank to turn in the money. I would be amazed at how just tossing change into a jar could turn into so much “real” money. In these moments my Dad taught me about giving back his 10% to God and we would count out together how much we needed to set aside as a tithe. I didn’t quite get that as a kid, but I remember my Dad’s faithfulness to God and always gave his first fruits.
He and my mother would go to the grocery store and before anything could be put away, it had to be set on the table and he would take out his calculator and add everything up to make sure that we were not overcharged. I can’t tell you how many times I rolled my eyes at this process, but it made me conscious to be sure what I know where my money was going and how to stay on budget, reconcile my bank statements and save up for what I wanted. My Dad taught me delayed gratification. We just didn’t run out and buy stuff because you had $2 in your pocket. We had to get the newspaper and look at the sale ads to see who had the “best deal”.
My Dad taught me how to save money. He taught me to stick to my guns. He taught me ask questions. He taught me to be kind. He taught me to get an understanding. He explained the definition of a “jive turkey”, LOL! But most importantly, Delvin Nelson, Sr. taught me how to love. My Dad to this day still protects me like I was a baby. As a master event planner, I keep long hours and late nights. I can guarantee at some point in the night, my Dad is going to walk in just to check on me. At 2am, when I am about to head home, I will see his truck in the parking lot just making sure I get to my car safely. By 3am, I will get a call to make sure I am home and in the bed.
Out every disappointment I have ever had in my entire life, I received an overflow and abundance of love and knowledge that made up for it in my Daddy. I know that not every girl/woman can say that they share this relationship with their Fathers and that makes me sad. Every person deserves to experience this type of love. As each day passes I am made more aware of how blessed I have been to experience a Father’s true love, guidance and protection which in turn deepens my understanding even more of how much God must truly love us.
Thank you Daddy for loving me endlessly. Happy Father’s Day.