“You are my special Angel, sent from up above…” my Dad, Steve Hale, sings as my little four-year-old cheeks turn flush with embarrassment and I run for the nearest table to climb under and hide. Friends and family join in the fun by singing along and playfully winking at me in my not so secret hiding place. My heart races, I want to bolt, but yes, I do feel “special.” How could I not? I feel “special” every time, and the number is not small, my Dad breaks out one of the many “Angel” songs tucked away in his vast guitar and vocal repertoire. My Dad’s love reaches across rooms and even across land, indeed oceans, to find me. I feel it no matter how far apart we are, everywhere I go. He is one of the kindest, most gentle souls I’ve ever known. He is the first and cherished “Man of My Dreams.”

“People are more important than things, I say people are more important than things…” Zack the puppet raps (a rockin’ beat wailing in the background) to a packed house. Behind the scenes my Step-dad, Terry Owings, is getting down and funky with the rap song he wrote just for Zach—the puppet he now inhabits with full abandon. The kids, heck the entire crowd, goes wild—they love Zach. They love him every time he appears as the DJ/host of yet another puppet show. A certain ten-year-old little girl (me) smiles with pride and delight, as I too will be inevitably headed for the stage to join in the fun at some point in the show. I love Zach too, but I love him for the man behind the puppet - my silly, kind, fun, playful, solid and gentle Step-dad. Yes, he is indeed a “Man of My Dreams.”

With a five-year-old’s perfect delight and eyes all aglow I reach down to pick a vividly pink and sweetly fragrant flower from a low-hanging tree branch. With triumph I hold it up for display. “What’s this?” I ask expectantly looking up into the face of the man I am proud, so very proud, to call my Grandpa.

“Well, hmmm” he says slowly taking it and examining it with the thoroughness of an expert arborist, “well…I’d say it’s…hmmm…”

“Please! What? Come on, what is it called Grandpa?” I beg jumping up and down.

“Well, I’m pretty sure it’s a, well, it’s a pretty technical term, but I think it’s a, flower,” he says with a twinkle in his eye and a huge smile.

“O Grandpa!” I cry out feigning exasperation but unable to disguise my giggles of utter joy! This is only one of ever so many moments of pure delight I have spent at my Grandpa Hale’s side. He is the most beautiful example I have ever experienced of “living in the now.” When he moves in the world, everything is noticed and everything is full of possibility. My beloved Grandma can attest to this fact as many, many of the treasures “noticed” by my Grandpa have ended up in his vast collection inhabiting their garage and overflowing into their home! I cherish each walk, every moment I get with him. He is yet another incredible “man of my Dreams

I sit quietly contemplating the kind, steady, loving man who was my Grandpa Clindaniel. His family is a testament to all he did, who he was and the rock solid foundation he created for all of us. He was the calm in the storm that is our family. We run, laugh, play, jabber and carry on. But when we’re ready to settle in, we find Grandpa. He’s easy enough to find: perhaps in the living room in his favorite recliner chair, perhaps on the porch tending the barbecue with uncle Randy, but where ever he is he’s not far away. He’s somewhere calm and when I am wishing to be calm I find him. He is here with me now, in my heart, in who I am and who I am becoming. He was, he is forever, a “Man of My Dreams.”

The world grows quiet, serene and magical. My heartbeat quickens with a sudden lightness, joy and expectation. My soul, my body, my entire being vibrates with an indescribable sense of perfection, wholeness, peace. I am home. I am in my beloved husband’s arms and I am home. It is truly beyond my ability to express the immense gratitude I feel for having the privilege of walking alongside this playful, intelligent, talented and deeply passionate soul. Gene Newton is my best friend, my soul mate the Love of My Life, my playmate and, yes, truly and completely: “Man of My Dreams!”

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” - Dinah Craik

As I consider the many men who have touched my life along my journey, I am awed by the ways each of them has added to who I am. Their strength has reminded me of my own personal power, even when I felt like I had no strength left to be found. Every one of them has shown me some aspect of the grace behind exuding confidence even in the face of fear, the beautiful benefits of being assertive while maintaining the dignity of others, and most importantly, the art of staying tender and open to words, thoughts and ideas of others without being frail or defensive. These and so many more qualities are gifts I gratefully receive from the men I meet along my journey. I am blessed to know each of you, “Men of My Dreams!”

I could mention ever so many men I have been gifted to know but for the purposes of this piece I simply want to thank all of the incredible men in my life and every man who walks, breathes, lives in integrity, strength, gentleness and love. You are noticed. You are appreciated. You are loved. Thank you! Thank you all from the very depths of my heart!

Action: Let’s put some legs on this appreciation, shall we?

Take a moment to think of at least one, if not several men in your life who have fathered, encouraged, mentored, assisted or loved you. When was the last time you thanked him? Why not take this moment, this week, this month to tell him how much he means to you?

Statistically men receive far less praise and recognition for activities outside of the workplace than do women. Let’s change that. Also, Father’s tend to not receive gifts on Father’s Day, or if he does, he is often left paying the bill for it. Let’s change that! Very few men who aren’t actual “Fathers” get recognized for the value and richness they add to so many lives. Let’s change that!

Take the lead and show the men in your life how much you appreciate them. Whenever you can, do this in public and let him and others around bask in the emanating joy of being celebrated and honored. It’s synergistic! We’ll start a revolution! Wouldn’t it be amazing to hear positive words, praises of others and gratitude everywhere we turn? Let’s make it so, starting this very month, this moment, in honor of Father’s Day!

I bid you farewell dear reader and all the “Men of Our Dreams” with this beautiful, poignant and timely quote.

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men, and the love of small children; who has filled his niche, and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty, or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others, and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.” - Bessie Anderson Stanley

© 2007 Angel C. Hale

Author's Bio: 

Angel Hale is a Masterful Life Coach and acclaimed Motivational Speaker. She lost her vision in 1986 but that didn’t stop her from creating and living a life that exceeds even her own wildest aspirations! Angel’s engaging style and professional acumen has made her a highly sought Personal Coach and the Keynote Speaker of choice for numerous public and private agencies, groups and organizations. Learn more at:
http://www.accessyourpotential.org/ and