Friday, October 8, 2010

Big Mark Turns 50

I am taking a break from Fashionable Friday because yesterday was my daddy's, who I affectionately refer to as "Big Mark", 50th birthday!

I am 100% a daddy's girl. He and I are so similar that it is a little frightening. We both share a love for sci-fi, action and comic book-esque movies and sushi, not to mention I inherited his temperament as well. We try to go on sushi dates once a month, and it is rare that I go more than few days without seeing him.

Big Mark is a physician's assistant (which means he can do all the same things as a doctor such as write prescriptions, treat patients independently or fix wounds but can't open a practice of his own without a supervising M.D.) at a practice that is an extension of the emergency room. However, daddy didn't start out as a P.A., in fact he graduated from P.A. school at ECU the exact same year that I graduated from high school.

Me & my favorite graduate
May 2005 -  graduation Sunday at church
Before he decided to go into medicine, daddy was a respiratory therapist and owned his own company, RemLabs, which did sleep studies and such all over the U.S. He traveled all the time, peddling his companies services and performing sleep apnea studies and tests, and was very successful. But.. he missed a lot of time with me and Deanna when we were little because he was on the road so often. So, he decided he needed a change.

Daddy then started working with Visionair then Mi-Co, both tech companies that sold cool medical gadgets to doctors offices and hospitals. In fact, Mi-Co was one of the first companies to use Bluetooth technology. But once again, Big Mark was having to travel a lot, and on September 11, 2001, I almost lost my mind because he had been doing lots of business in Boston... from where the planes that hit the towers had departed.. Scariest day of my entire life, but so thankful that he wasn't on one of the planes and was safe in his office.

Daddy & me at the wedding, before taking the trip down the aisle

So, Daddy went back to school. He worked 12 hours shifts from 7P to 7A in the local emergency room as a respiratory therapist while he went to Mount Olive College and got his Bachelor's degree through classes on Tuesday & Thursday's. We set him up a nice little study-cave off the laundry room where he could sleep in peace after his long shifts and study when he woke up. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and then went right into P.A. school at East Carolina University.

Big Mark & Unca Jason
Daddy's his twin brother Jason and Daddy (on the right) at his white coat ceremony\
I am so proud to call Big Mark my daddy and he is one of my best friends. I talk to him every day on his way home from work to hear about his adventures at work and to tell him about my day. I trust his wisdom and ask him important questions and for advice constantly. He is so strong in his walk with God and it is like pulling eye-teeth to get the old people in his Sunday school class to advance to the next class because he's such an excellent teacher/speaker.

 Big Mark & me during the "Daddy/Daughter Dance" (we danced to Michael Buble's "Daddy's Little Girl")
I love you daddy and I hope you have an amazing birthday.


  1. What a sweet post about your father. I hope he has a wonderful birthday.

  2. I just read your blog for the first time. I have always known your were talented but your writing proves even more so. Your words were so moving; I know my next 50 years will be as exciting watching my little "sugar pig" continue to grow. Keep the passion of life going through your pen and we through God's grace can say, "Life is good!"

  3. So I see there is another Harrell girl that is a Daddy's girl.. Nothing wrong with that. Love reading your blog when I think about looking at it. You are a good writer. Hope you're getting along good and can't wait to see the little one. Maybe with all these Grandmas in your family that I know I will see the baby one day. Sandra Harrell