In my younger days, I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of fairy tales. While imagination is an amazing spark for the mind to bloom in, there is a disconnec between that which we wish were real and that which really is. My very very visual and imaginative mind can paint such a picture that I often have not been able to see the difference. But one thing I had to respect about my Daddy was his realness, his tangibility. You always knew where he stood because he was never hiding anything. He was a truth teller, a very real man. He did not romance my mom but he always provided for her and we were never without what we needed. He was not a flatterer but always worked hard to pay the bills. He did not promote sensitivity of emotion, but he worked the soil with a love of nature he passed down to me. There is a difference sometimes between what the heart expects and longs for than what it really can ever get a hold of. But since Daddy left this earth, I have a much greater appreciation for that which surrounds me now. I appreciate the messiness and loudness of my children as well as their strong minds. I appreciate that my husband keeps a roof over our heads and food in the fridge for me to prepare. I appreciate friends who are ho est with me when I have talked too much. I appreciate breaking the silence with a very real laugh. I appreciate the breaking of leaves and twigs u der my feet as I hike through the wooded trails. I love Jesus’ honesty all throughout Scripture and when He answers prayers. I can wait forever for a maybe of some fantasy world or live life in a beautiful and very real reality now. My dad was real. And though my mom may have longed for some of the novel romantic gestures so easy to grasp as natural, she could never have had a more loyal, trustworthy, completely devoted man who kept her health and home a priority even above his own life. There is a real romance in that,no deception, just a refreshingly frank and real reality of love in action. Other than a good meal, he expected nothing but continued giving to the last. I had to tell him I would look after mom before he would leave his body that had finished a while ago. The will he had to the last was the will to care for his wife. Sacrificial love to the end. Appreciated and recognized or not, he did not care but he would be true to his heart and love her the best he could. That is heroic. And in a very etherial way, was a real and tangible romantic love, seemingly practical but unadulterated by sticky to the and buttery lips. Real is better.