I know in writing this I will fall short of accurately describing everything my father is, but today I will attempt to honor him by sharing with the world the greatness of Paul Golata.
First off, it couldn’t have been easy raising four completely opposite, extremely indecisive, and sometimes overly dramatic girls. But you did it with grace, justice, and mostly love. I can’t thank you enough for being my parent first before ever being my friend. You are protective of my innocence, and strict with expectations, and a constant encourager of my potential. So while my friends parents’ were letting them date unworthy boys, and buying them alcohol to make them popular, we were sitting at home watching “We Bought a Zoo” as a family on the couch because you loved me enough to put boundaries in my life. I know there were times I resented you for it, but looking back now you understood all along that God had better things in store for me than my concern for ‘cool’. You couldn’t have loved me better.
But above loving me I want to thank you for loving my mom. I’m lucky to spend my life never having to worry about your relationship. Because though there may be yelling, crying, and fighting, there is never leaving. I am confident in your love for each other and I think that is a special blessing in itself.
I can only be so sure because I have gotten to witness you love her out loud where everyone can see, whether it was you two cuddling on the couch, honoring her with flowers, or even cleaning the house before she got home. You make certain that she knows and we know that you love her just as Christ loved the church.
Lastly, I am most thankful that you put God first and that you pursue Him daily. You love Him fiercely, relentlessly, and first and in doing so you have guided our family into a hope that can only be found at the cross. You have personified forgiveness, been an example of faithfulness, and have demonstrated gentleness.
You are the type of dad who pulls over to help turtles cross the street, and puts baby birds safely back in their nest. The type of dad that scrapes off the ice from the windshield of my car before you leave for work. The type of dad that cries in any family feel good movie, just because your heart is too big. The type of dad that will play fight with me, joke with me, support me, teach me, dream with me, and tell me he loves me every day. I can’t be more grateful to have an earthly father who is clear, tangible illustration of my heavenly one.
Dad, I am more than proud of everything that you are.
I wish the world could fully understand that you are so much more than just simply great.
We love you and are blessed by you.