“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. I can remember at the tender age of 5 years old hopping in the front seat and just rolling with my dad. Whether he had to go pick up supplies from Lowe’s or get his hair cut at the barbershop, I was always at my dad’s side and known has his ‘twin’ or “Little Speedy” (my dad’s nickname because as a kid, he ran pretty fast.) Perhaps it is because I am the eldest of his children, but we’ve always had a bond that is unbreakable.
Even when my mother and sisters and I moved from Galveston, Texas (yes, I am a southern girl #themoreyouknow) to Evanston, Illinois when I was 8, I still managed to maintain a relationship with my father. While it was very difficult at times to strengthen a father-daughter relationship hundreds of miles away in the midst of growing into a young woman, I can say that my dad did the best he could to support my sisters and I. I’m convinced that God blesses us with the parents we have for a reason, and I’m extremely grateful for the role that my dad has and continues to play in my life. Next to Mama Wideman, he’s always been my number one cheerleader, and believed that I am more capable to achieve whatever it is I set my mind to. On this Father’s Day, I want to share with you all three unforgettable lessons that my Daddy, Lloyd Cooper, has taught me:
1. “A minor setback is a set-up for a comeback.” — I can remember calling my dad March 2012 when my third PR internship ended unexpectedly and I had NO CLUE as to what was going to happen next. While I was just certain that he would be disappointed in me, he reassured me that was just a minor setback that was going to prepare me for something better. He explained that there were times in his life he thought something was going to happen, but it ended up falling through. He reminded me to always take those moments of ‘stand-still’ to prepare and work on becoming better at my craft. To this day, any time I experience one of life’s many ‘plot twists’, I remember that there is always something better right around the corner.
2. “Work hard, stay humble and keep the faith.” — Without a doubt, I get my work ethic and hustle from both of my parents. They have equally shown and proven that focus, determination and being kind will always yield success. But I think watching my dad conduct business at such a young age really stuck with me. And he was did his best to be the most accommodating, kind and thorough for those that he worked for. Furthermore, my dad always reminds me that keeping faith in God and His promises will take you much further than you can ever take yourself. Things may get tough, but God will always bring you out in the end.
3. “Because your last name is Cooper.” — Now, only my younger sisters and I can attest hearing this ALL OF THE TIME. (LOL) Whenever I call my dad and tell him about an achievement or accomplishment, he always jokingly asks me, “What’s your last name?” And it isn’t as a means to boast or brag, but really to embrace my uniquity as an individual, and the gifts that God has blessed me with. Hearing that over and over again has not only taught me to appreciate my first, middle and last name, but to always take pride in any and everything that I put my name on. Let’s just hope my future husband won’t have a problem with me hyphenating my name 😉
So to all of the dads, uncles, granddads, godfathers, Pop-Pops, stepdads and surrogate fathers, I THANK YOU for the bottom of my heart for investing in your children and teaching them to not only love themselves, but love others as well. And to my daddy, thank you for all that you’ve done and for all that continue to do. I’m so blessed and proud to be your daughter, and even more grateful to have your unconditional love, encouragement and support to keep pushing me forward. I love you!