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A True Family Man

A Daughter's Words About Her Dad, Allen Brinkley

I knew from a very early age that if I called my dad’s office, the receptionist would put me through, no matter what, because my dad made sure of it. On weekends, my dad would take my brother and me with him to his office, and he would work and we would sing on his dictaphone and maybe break something, like a typewriter. But he’d still bring us back the next weekend. On Sundays, he would draw on the back of the offertory envelopes with us before eventually getting up to go usher, which he loved to do because he could go to the vestibule and visit with the other ushers, and then see everyone down the aisles, pew by pew.

In middle school and high school, if I was cheering at a football or basketball game, home or away, I knew that he and my mom would be in the stands, absolutely, no question. In college, my dad is the one I called every morning when my heart broke for the first time because only he knew what to say and his voice calmed me. As a lawyer, I called him to settle me down, knowing he’d answer, moments before I took my first deposition.

When I fell in love with my now-husband, I knew my dad loved him before even really knowing him, just because he knew I loved him. And when I became a mother, I knew that every single time my husband and I needed overnight childcare in Birmingham, my dad would commit to the job before checking the calendar, so we needed to wait on the real answer from my mom. It sounds so simple, but on top of all the showing up for us, he showed up for so many others.

I don’t know how I got so lucky to call him my dad. I thank God for the gift of my dad’s life and for the time we had with him.