My beautiful friend, Amy, encouraged me to share some fun or good memories of Dad. So in honor of him on this Father's Day weekend, here are a few:
Loving: I never ever doubted being loved. One of my favorite things in the world would be to sit by my Dad on the couch, his arm around my shoulders and cuddle into his side with my arm around his chest. I cried many tears there too. I'm going to miss that.
Singing: Okay, we Kimbroughs are not known for our singing voices. I actually was complemented my our music minister's wife for my wonderful lip-syncing abilities. No lie. Dad's abilities were about the same. But dad would sing me two songs in particular. One was "I love you a bushel and a peck; a bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck, and a hug around the neck." He also sang "George of the Jungle" to me a lot (see next).
Nicknames: I have a few nicknames. But my dad has more for me than anyone. Mostly, I was "George Earl Clide Fritz the Third" or "George" for short. (Thus the "George of the Jungle" song mentioned above.) The George part came from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was the one where Bugs gets "captured" by the abominable snowman and he says, "Just what I always wanted. My own little bunny rabbit! I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him." The full name--I have no idea. Dad also called me Holly Nick (for my middle name, Nicole), Nikki or Nikki-No.
Calm: No matter what happened to me, or how frantic I called home, Dad was always calm. I'd be in tears over something (usually money related), and he would calmly say something like "We'll figure it out. Don't worry. God provided before, He will again." He always surprised me with that calm.
Self-Sacrificing: Dad would do anything for his kids and friends. He usually would go without and sacrifice to meet the needs of others. He didn't have much money, but it wasn't "his" money, but God's. He taught me from childhood to tithe and give.
Work Ethic: All of us kids learned how to work hard. Dad would work and give 100% each day, but at the same time, he didn't bring work home. He wasn't a workaholic. He just worked at whatever his hand found to do with all his might.
Humor: Dad loved to laugh, and he was a practical joker too. One of my favorite memories was from an ice cream social his Sunday School Class threw. It was suppose to be HOMEMADE ice cream, but Dad decided to go get some Blue Bell. He packed his freezer with the Blue Bell and took it to the social. After rave reviews and several requests for the recipe, he finally announced: "You go to the store and buy Blue Bell, then you pack it in the freezer. That's it!" I'm pretty sure he even crushed up real Oreos in there too to make it more convincing. They never let him forget it. :)
Cooking: Dad could make the best breakfast gravy in the world, and in the winter he would make real hot chocolate (milk, coco, and sugar) because he knew it was my favorite. :) He was also known for his enchiladas with green and black olives in them. But more than anything, Dad was known for his Chicken & Dumplings. His mom, my Granny Kimbrough, was an amazing cook. (I didn't get my waistline by accident!). When she died, several of the family members took on some of her favorite recipes. Dad got dumplings, and he perfected it. As his official dumpling taster, I think that has fallen to me to carry on. I will never made a pot without thinking of him.
I could go on and on. But these are a few of my favorite things. And the void he left will never go away. But I am thankful for the time I did have and for the amazing Dad I was given. He will be missed greatly.
Happy Father's Day, my sweet Daddy.