Dear Dad, Thank You

Dear Dad, Thank You

You made me into the person I am today, and for that I am grateful.

I truthfully don't know where I would be without you. I know we've had a good relationship my entire life, but in the past few years, it's strengthened.

You're the reason every bad day has a happy ending. You're my favorite person to call when I need it. You're my favorite person to talk to when I need encouragement, whether it be academically or personally.

You're the reason I love sports so much, and when people ask me how I know the things I do, I say it's because of you.

You're the reason I know it's OK to have emotions. When Boompa died, it was the first time I saw you cry all 15 years of my life. It reminded me that even the strongest people struggle sometimes and taught me that it's OK to cry.

You're the reason I believe I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to. When I decided to change my major, you didn't question me or doubt me, you told me you were proud of me.

You're the reason I'm so determined and motivated to get the career I want. You taught me how to learn from my mistakes and focus on what really matters.

You're the reason I have the opportunity to work hard. Without your hard work, continuing into your 60's, I wouldn't be able to attend the school I do. You gave up your dreams so I could chase mine. I'm forever grateful for the time you've spent to make my life easier.

You're the reason I'm so independent. You taught me how to drive in a church parking lot, cook spaghetti, pump gas, and attempted to help me ride a bike even though I was too afraid (I still am).

You're the reason I know how to be a good parent. I still don't know if I want kids yet, but if it does end up happening I know how I'll raise them: just as you raised me.

You're the reason I know what I deserve. After my last breakup, you were on my side and provided the support and encouragement I needed. I will never let a man treat me with less respect than you have for me. If they don't make me feel as secure as you do, it's time to move on.

Thank you for everything you've done for me in the past 18 years, I wouldn't be who I am without your guidance and support. I love you.

Love,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Quigley

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A Letter From My Father, 4 Years Later

Never take your time for granted.

My father is a lot of things. He's kind and patient. He loves others well. He is a skilled leader and communicator. He's humble and carries himself with a sense of humor that is contagious.

He is first and foremost devoted to his family and Christ. He is a hard worker and a patient person. He has a way with words that touches many people's hearts.

And so, there is a multitude of people that look up to my dad for those very reasons.

I am one of them. So, you probably know that I hold my Father's opinion, trust, love, and advice in the highest regard.

My dad has always been known for his speeches or letters that he has written upon special occasions in our family life or his work events, as he is very sentimental person and is in touch with his feelings regarding the things he values most.

Consequently, over the years I have accumulated a series of letters and notes from my dad.

A few days ago, I came across a birthday note I received from my dad via email while my brother and I were traveling Europe following our high-school and college graduations. I was turning 18 and getting ready to move away to college, and my dad recognized that this was a major life transition for him, my mom, and I (especially since I was the youngest and my parents were about to become empty nesters),

Me? I didn't foresee all the change that was headed my way. The good or bad.

But coming across this letter he wrote me almost four years later really hit home for the way I've been feeling lately as a senior in college.

He knew our lives were going to change, and he voiced how crucial of a role college was going to play in my life.

Guess what? He was right.

So, I hope after reading the letter he wrote to me that you recognize how valuable words are years later. And how crucial it is to realize what you have while you've got it because life has a way of throwing unexpected change at you.

"Anna -
It’s already your birthday in Denmark, but not yet here in Huntsville. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!! I am so proud to be your Dad, miss you like crazy, but am thrilled that you’re spending your 18th birthday on a trip of a lifetime with your cool brother. For my 18th birthday, I went to Captain D’s in Alabaster. You may have to eat fish like I did, but at least you’re in an exciting place.
You’re my princess. I miss my little girl with the long pony tail that I could never tie up right. I miss my little soccer girl who learned to be one of the best defenders ever. I miss my The Voice partner. I miss seeing you when you come in late from work to tell me about your awful experiences. I miss my princess.
I’m excited for this time of your life. Time to go but not yet time to leave. This next year will be one of the best of your life with new friends, new surroundings, and new experiences. In college, you will make the best friends of your life and create the best memories of your life. You will say that you miss Mom and Dad, but you really won’t - you’ll be too busy working hard and too excited about too many new people and activities. So I’m OK with all of that. I just miss my princess.
Keep having fun on your trip. Watch after your brother. Remember I love you. And have a Happy Birthday.
Love,
Dad"

Love your parents and your time with them. Never take your life for granted because people love you and cherish you from afar. Value where you are and where you've been because sometimes when you're looking back on it all you'll realize what you didn't fully appreciate things you should've.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why You Need To Make Sure Your Parents Know How Important They Are To You

They may get on our nerves sometimes, but they only want the best for you.

Most of us have gone through that early high school phase of not getting along with our parents and some even go as far as “hating” them, but the fact is we would be lost without them. When you’re young it’s so easy to believe your parents are just trying to suck the fun out of everything and are way too hard on you.

We would have never even noticed until we grew up that it was only for the sake of our safety, it may only be when we ourselves become parents that we realize it was to mold us into the best person we could be, and for some they may only realize it was because they would do anything for them when it is already too late.

This is why we must NEVER forget to let our parents know how much we love, adore, and appreciate all they do for us. If your mom is like mine, she is strong, beautiful, empowering, honest, crazy, sometimes stubborn, a lot of the time moody, fragile, but also comforting, wise, and your absolute rock.

If your dad is like mine, he is your biggest supporter. He is tough but sensitive, corny but inspiring, authentic and so loved, he can also be naive and sometimes mom’s puppet, but when it comes down to it, he is everything a dad should be and the person every girl keeps a mental image of when they think of the type of man they want to marry.

These people may get on your nerves so often and they may be unreasonable, but when you think about your parents, you have to know just how much they sacrifice for you and how much of their existence is revolved around making you happy and making you a more well-rounded human being.

We’ve all had times where they just drive us so crazy but thank God for growing up and being able to see just how good our parents are because being a parent cannot be easy. It is crucial that we spend time with them and we get to know them because more times than not, we really don’t know what we have until it’s gone.

This goes for any guardian you have who has looked after you and loved you unconditionally; we all have someone who fills that role.

Whether it’s your dad rushing out of work just to see your soccer game, your mom being the determining factor to whether or not you should be friends with that sketchy person, or just having a feeling of home wherever you go, these are the people that will matter forever, first and for most.

Next time you get so angry with your parents, stop and breathe and think about your overall relationship with them and how grateful you should be. Some people, unfortunately, do not have people like this in their lives and that should make it even more justified that you do not take them for granted because I guarantee you, if that girl who lost both her parents could see them one more time or that boy whose parents neglect him could get one hug, I know they would cherish that moment forever.

If your parents are like mine, you have it so good and you need to know it and act upon it now. Take the time to sit down with them and listen to stories about their childhood, go to the movies with them. CALL THEM AT SCHOOL. Just put the phone down in the car and listen to music together; it all adds up. Do not waste these days that you have such precious people in your life being so oblivious to the fact they just want what’s best for you.

Let them teach you even if it means listening to the same lectures over and over again, having the family movie night instead of going out, clean around the house for them every once in a while.

Someday when you have your own kids you’ll understand what it means to be a parent and how to be a great role model thanks to the people around you now. Don’t grow up and regret letting them know how important they are to you.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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