Dear Dad, From Your "Not So Little" Girl

Dear Dad, From Your "Not So Little" Girl

Thank you for always believing in me.
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Dear Dad,

Seems just like yesterday I was pondering the terrible thought of never being able to put my hair in a perfectly slicked ponytail, due to you always being the one to do it. When did the spider hiding in the corner suddenly become less terrifying without you being the one to save the day, smashing it with your shoe? I always wondered when I grew up if life would make more sense. Honestly, it just gets more confusing as the years continue. Although the one thing that never changes is you, my rock.

You’ve taught me that discipline, hard work, and “rubbing some dirt in it” when times get rough are how to make it out of this crazy world still standing. But you have also taught me that eating that extra spoonful of ice cream, leaning on a shoulder when life knocks you down, and taking a day just for yourself is essential for your sanity.

Whenever there is heartbreak with that boy who seemed so different, but essentially turned out to be just like the rest, you always make everything seem okay, even if it’s just for a moment. Simply intimidating the boy who walks through your front door so he truly knows who he has to deal with if he even thinks about breaking my fragile heart. Sometimes it seems as though love will be impossible to find due to the fact no man compares to your self worth. But when this love is found someday, you will be right there by my side to walk me down the aisle. I know you never have enjoyed dancing in public (or in general), but you bet we will be dancing to our favorite Heartland song, "I Loved Her First."

I will always be your number one fan. You’re my biggest supporter who never seems to get the credit you truly deserve. I know I haven’t been the perfect daughter at times, and have probably said some things that I don’t mean during an argument… I guess my short temper is something I get from my old man.

The point is that no matter how much older I get, or how many miles separate us, someday, when I have a grown-up job, nothing will replace our relationship. You were the most important man in my life the day I was born, and will be the most important until the day I die. I hope you never forget that.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your forevermore little girl.

Cover Image Credit: My Modern Met

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Cavaliers Nab National Championship After Heartbreak

"If you learn to use it right, the adversity, it will buy you a ticket to a place you couldn't have gone any other way." — UVA Coach Tony Bennet

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One year and 23 days is all it took for the University of Virginia Men's Basketball team to earn a glorious redemption. The journey along the way was accompanied by many tears, heartache, dedication, hard work, and amazing coaching.

After a devastating loss to a number 16 seed team, UMBC, just over a year ago, the UVA Men's Basketball team took a hard hit; and not just from their pride and spirit from such a devastating loss, but also from the outside world. They became the first number one seed to lose to a number 16 seed in NCAA history. In a 'Sports Illustrated' article done by Andy Staples, he wrote a moving piece on Kyle Guy, Virginia's point guard. Guy became the face of the loss due to the image of him hanging his head in shame, while UMBC celebrates their victory on the court. After this image became viral, Guy became the face for Virginia's historical and upsetting loss. In the article, he expressed how this loss affected him and his teammates in more ways than one. He addressed his struggles with anxiety, especially after such a major loss. He relied heavily on his fiancé, family, team and coaches during this difficult time.

Guy shared that what happened on the court, was then haunting them in their everyday lives. After that historical game, outsiders and "fans" began to threaten them. Minutes after the loss, he shared that the players had to have police escort them back to their hotel because they were receiving death threats. With concerns from loved ones, Guy shared a touching conversation with his mother, Katy Fitzgerald. She had asked him how he was doing; he responded with: "A bend in the road isn't the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn." Her response was, "What if I told you not to worry, because when you feel like you're drowning, fear not, your lifeguard walks on water."

After a lot of late-night practices, continuous support, never-ending dedication and much-needed recovery, these men came back and fought even harder; not letting their past define them. They became a new team and won another ACC regular-season title and earn another number one seed. The 2018 tournament loss was a driving force of motivation for this team for the 2019 tournament, and for anyone who watched the NCAA National Championship game, their motivation and determination showed. Virginia beat number three seed, Texas Tech in overtime, 85-77. The Virginia Men's Basketball team came back stronger than ever and won it all.

I would call them a team, but it is very clear these gentlemen are more like a family. Through the continuous support, appreciation and love they show for each other; they are truly an inspiring group of men. This is an inspiring story of the journey of life not always being easy, but definitely being well worth it. These athletes took one of life's sourest lemons and truly turned it into some very sweet lemonade, and that is a lesson worth remembering.

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