A song my Dad loves. Listen while you read if you like:
I have been exceptionally blessed with two wonderful parents. You got to read about my mom on Mother’s Day, and now you’re going to hear all about my amazing Dad, Dr. J. Keith Hay.
My Dad is a lot of things – he’s a well loved and respected family physician, a hockey enthusiast, a lover of music and art. But the things I love most about him are the qualities in his character. He is calm, gentle, selfless, patient, cheerful, and at times has known to be pretty goofy. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. If he’s sick or in a bad mood, I’d never know it. I think my Mom is one of the only people who can tell when my Dad isn’t feeling 100%. One time Dad mentioned something about being grumpy after work and I thought, “When are you ever grumpy?” I wish that quality had passed down to me!
Something else I admire is that my Dad RARELY says anything negative about anyone. It’s like he lives by the saying “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Another thing I need to work on…
Probably most of you know that family physicians are busy people, with their regular work day and being on call, but I never viewed it has a negative thing. He always made time for us and made us feel important. We attended Choral Camp once a week every summer for seven years, just me and him, which was so special and memorable. When my Dad was home, he was totally present. There was never a time that he was “too busy” to look at something or play a game or help us with our homework, which was no easy task!!
When I was 16 and newly licensed I caused a car accident that briefly hospitalized my passenger. I remember being at the hospital, and before I knew it, my Dad was there, though the hospital was 45 minutes away from our house. As soon as I saw him I hugged him and burst into tears. I don’t remember him saying anything -he just hugged me and was there for me. He didn’t get mad at me or look disappointed. He just loved me and that is exactly what I needed in that moment.
Another reason my Dad is so fabulous is because he treats my Mom so well. He has always brought her flowers on a regular basis, and he often leaves little “just because” cards around the house. And best of all in my opinion, he willingly and happily washed the dishes every night he was able to.
He came to say goodnight to me every night from when I was very young, and we would sing songs together – Jesus Loves Me, Away in a Manger, Bye-bye a bye-bye(silliest song ever but even Shasta loves it now), and Taps, which we always finished with and harmonized on the last line, “God is nigh.” It’s probably the reason I have always loved harmonizing.
I could go on for quite a while. I’ll just finish here by saying, thank you Dad for being who you are. I love you so much, and I cherish our relationship. Thank you for being an exceptional example of a father, husband, professional, and overall human being.