Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weekend Vacation and The Man I Love

People often ask me if I'm a Daddy's Girl. I don't exactly understand what that means, but I guess according to most I seem to fit the definition. Apparently, I've been told, the majority of girls my age don't get along the greatest with their dads. Or at least they don't talk much. I'd like to think I talk to my dad about life and such more than the average girl. We've always been pretty close. I grew up having him call me his angel. To this day, I still consider myself his angel. Sometimes he teases me. Sometimes he pees in public areas. Sometimes he changes my favorite song on the radio just because it's my favorite. But I know he does all these things not just to make my face go a little red, but because he loves me. He's the guy that tried to teach me to drive stick (failed). He's the reason I know ACDC so well. He's the reason I love snacking on red meat. He's the reason I never have to worry about getting my tires changed. He's the reason I'm so competitive and hate to lose. He's the reason I've ever succeeded at anything because he's provided in a way that I have the means to succeed. I love him. This past weekend (Father's Day Weekend might I add), I was reminded once again of why he's such a great man.

I had quite the exciting weekend. It's been fun when people ask, "How was your weekend, Kels?" To say, "Pretty great. I went to California." Instead of the usual, "It was good. . .What did I even do?" This is why I love my family. We're all completely random. We do spontaneous things sometimes like take off for the weekend to California. We left Friday afternoon and got home Sunday night. The main reason for making the trip was for a big horse race. My dad and grandpa's horse, Leave The Scene, had made it into a huge race. Not only did he make it, he was by far the favorite. He was the horse that no one could stop talking about. How big was this race? Oh, just a little over a million dollars. Just part of the Triple Crown in the quarter horse racing world. Leave The Scene had an amazing shot at winning this million dollar race. I figured it would be the best Father's Day gift ever. To have my dad standing down by his horse to take that champion picture. I wanted this race for my dad so bad. Because a guy like that deserves it.

The race wasn't until later Saturday night, so we spent the day at the beach. Huntington Beach. Gosh, I love it there. I just love the ocean. My whole family does. My parents always told me that Kelsey meant "dweller by the water". My mom said they liked how it fit with my dad's name since his name is Brooks. So I guess you could say I dwell by my dad, which I like. My mom always joked that I should someday live in a house by a body of water. My pick would be the ocean. I'd be content just sitting in the sand with a little fire. No house needed. Like the hippie child I truly am. After Lex got hammered by a few huge waves, and we felt bad for Jace who sat with his crutches in the sand with a garbage sack on his broken foot, we decided to leave the beach for our hotel. We got ready. Ate an amazing dinner with my wonderful uncle and aunt. Then off to the races we went. With all the hopes in the world.

Everyone at the track was talking up Leave The Scene. I read an interview they did with my dad about the race. He sounded great. He's a smart guy. Those college degrees are overrated. It was almost Race 9. Our race. The last race of the night. The million dollar one. My dad wasn't near as nervous as he usually is before a race. He actually told me he was excited. So was I. The horses were loaded into the gates. Leave The Scene looked as good as a race horse can. His head was held high. The gates opened. Leave The Scene came out first. He was ahead. He stayed ahead. We had this race. My heart felt like it might pop out of my mouth. But then Leave The Scene started falling back. That wasn't normal for him. The last of the race is always his strong point. He fell back to sixth place. I looked over to the board to see where he placed for sure. When I looked back, I saw two horses falling and rolling. One was ours. Leave The Scene. I clutched onto my mom's head and we both started freaking out. It looked bad. Leave The Scene was kicking his legs. He forced himself up. He tried to run off the track but couldn't. His front legs looked broken. He collapsed. The fight in him was about gone. The workers ran out to cover the scene. The horse would have to be put down. It was one of the saddest things I'd ever seen. Then the next thing I saw made me even more sad. My dad's face. He was down by the track. Pure agony was all over his face. He looked sick. He walked away and motioned to us it was time to leave.

"Dad is going to be mad," Lex said through tears. He wasn't mad. He was too heartbroken to be mad. I could tell. The worst thing that can happen in horse racing just happened to him. And the next day would be Father's Day. How horrible.

On the ride home we said it was too bad the horse didn't at least win. "I wouldn't feel any different today had the horse won and that happened after," he said. I knew he meant it. I realized last weekend what a selfless dad I have. He's the type of guy that would do anything for anybody. He has a good heart. We need more people like him in this world. Even though the weekend didn't work out like we wanted, I hope he still had a Happy Father's Day. And I hope maybe he's reading this, computer illiterate as he is. Dad, I love you.

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