An Open Letter to My Deceased Father,

Thank you for all the memories.

Dad, I cannot thank you enough for all the memories I have. From sitting down at the dinner table and you cutting my steak for me, to us sitting on the back porch having talks about me growing up and you always having a cigarette in your hand. I still remember all the times when you asked me to go to the bank with you, or to the grocery store, or somewhere completely unimportant, but it all seemed important to me. Thank you for the memories of tucking me in at night and scratching my back until I fell asleep. Thank you for all the memories of you loving me and me loving you.

Thank you for being there when I needed you.

I was a sensitive kid, maybe more sensitive than normal. Don't get me wrong there were times you told me to suck it up and I needed that, but the times when you just hugged me and told me it was all going to be OK, I needed that, too. When I was sad, mad, happy, confused, or empty, somehow you always knew what to say and what to do. I don't know how you did it. I couldn't have grown up without you.

Thank you for teaching me how to be who I am.

I am who I am today because of you. I will always be who I am because of you. How lucky I am to have had someone like you to instill all the values and morals I have. You taught me to be forgiving, most of the time. You taught me to be kind, no matter what others think of me. You taught me to be confident, because that is intimidating to those who think less of me. You taught me to stick up for myself, even when I felt weak. You taught me that I am strong, although I do not always think I am. Thank you for not only giving me these qualities but helping parts of you become parts of me.

Thank you for being you.

The best part of you being my dad, is that you're so much more than that. You're a comedian with the best jokes. You're a strong man with a strong personality. You're somehow a jack of all trades and still remembered the names of all my stuffed animals. You're a five-star chef and you were the family hero. Most importantly, you were more than just a dad. You were the best father a daughter could have asked for.

I love you every day, I miss you every day, and I think about you every day. However, the thing I think about most, is how grateful I am to have had the experience of you as a father, as a dad, and as a friend.

I'll see you when I see you.

Your Daughter