Before Edward Frys, one of America’s premiere cakers (that is my short word for cake maker & baker), proposed to my daughter Holly, he proposed to me. Like the gentleman he is, he took me to dinner to tell me that he loves my daughter, that she completes him, and that he intends to make her his wife, if she will have him.
And did he have my blessings?
Is the the Pope Catholic? Does the earth orbit the sun? Did God make little green apples?
You have to have walked where I have walked as a dad to love, admire and thank God for Edward Frys the way I do as a man.
I am a man. I know how men are. I know how we see girls, from the outside in. I have always believed it is easier for a female to fall in love, romantic love, with a disabled man than for a man to do so with a disabled woman.
I am a dad, the dad of a disabled daughter. How many times had I listened to her cry herself to sleep, this idealistic girl who was as in love with love as any little girl could be? How many of her friends did she watch get married with joy for them and an aching, gnawing pain for herself? How many times had the Devil perched on the foot of her princess bed and told her she would never know love like that?
Too many to recount here.
What I wanted was a man. What I wanted was a man who would see her. A man who would see that a small-framed, broken body housed one of the most indomitable spirits he would ever find. A man who would see her resilience, her intelligence, her compassion, her beauty…a beauty that is truly radiant, because it starts deep in her spirit and shines through every pore in her body.
I wanted a man who knew he was the lucky one, because she loved him.
Let’s hear it for the man…
Let’s hear it for the man whose eyes are on the prize and not the pretty wrapping paper.
Let’s hear it for the man whose hat is in his hand, whose heart is on his sleeve, and whose head is in the right place.
Let’s hear it for the man who knows loving is giving, and who receives far more because he does.
Let’s hear it for the man whose instinct is to protect and whose commitment is to provide.
Let’s hear it for the man who never stood taller than when he took a knee.
Let’s hear it for the man who is the kind of man every man would do well to be.
Dedicated to Edward Frys (welcome to the family, man), Holly Strother (See? God was listening and He said, “yes”), Donya Strother (You bore it all with grace and faith and have been rewarded), Ashley and Lacey Strother (no one ever loved a sister more).