Dear Dad

Dear Dad

I Hope You're Proud

You were my first sight at my high school graduation. You were among the most honored of parents, watching your little girl cross the stage and accept her diploma. I had no idea that was going to be the last time I was going to see you outside a cold, dark hospital room.

I didn’t have the strength to talk to your doctors. I didn’t have the capacity to accept what they were saying. You didn’t either, which is why you didn’t want me to know until I had to.

I didn’t want you to see me sad. I didn’t want you to feel my heartbreak. I didn’t want you to watch me cry. I didn’t want you to experience more pain. I wanted to protect you just like you protected me. No amount of medicine or doctor care could protect you anymore from the inevitable.

You asked me to come over and sit with you, I couldn’t touch you. The moment I grabbed your pinky, it became real. The courage to say the words that we were all avoiding escaped, and although there was nothing said, the look you gave me spoke enough truth; I had days left to be with you.

I stepped away your side, and I ran as fast as I could. Out of the dreary room, passed the stark white halls of the oncology unit, and into my mother’s arms. All the strength I had was left behind on the tear stained floors of the ward, and for fifteen minutes, my mind was numb, my body was shaking, and I was running out of air.

I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to hear anyone talk about what happens ‘afterwards’. I didn’t want to know about your life ending when mine was barely starting.

26 days before you died, I was sitting on the far edge of your bed. You were in and out of sleep. I asked you if you were proud of me. It took you almost 18 years to say the words ‘Are you kidding me? I’m so proud of you.’ I grabbed your hand and wiped my tears with another. He said to me ‘your mom and I love you more than anything in this world, never forget that.’

On August 10th, 2015, I got my driver’s permit. I called you immediately to tell you. You grunted at me. I was relieved to hear you breathe. On August 14th, 2015, I took my first college placement tests. I had no idea that I would be receiving a call at 1:45pm saying you had said goodbye.

It’s been two years since you’ve passed away. I’ve needed you every single day since. I’ve needed you to show me how to do my taxes. I’ve needed you to help me get the scratch off my car. I’ve needed you to be my daddy again.

I hope I’m making you proud.

I hope I’m making the right decisions.

I hope that you are as happy with me as happy as I am with myself.

I hope you’re okay with me moving across the country to follow my dreams.

I hope you know that I’m truly doing the best I can in lieu of your absence.

I hope you know that I do everything with the grace and poise that you taught me.

I hope I’m making you proud.

‘Remember.’ ‘Daddy loves you.’ ‘That’s right, peach.’

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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I Was Raised By A Single Parent And I'm Better For It

Divorce is not always a bad thing and you can come out stronger and better than ever from it.


Every kid everywhere wants their parents to stay together for eternity, but some parents can't make the relationship last. Some parents try to stay together to make things work for the children so that they can grow up happy with both of their parents together, but let me tell you, it doesn't work. You can see the changes in your parents because they want to act like they are happy and nothing can break them, but that's instilling false hope in the kids who can read right through the act

My parents divorced when I was eleven years old, and my mom was a superhero through the entire thing.

She protected my older brother and me from rumors, she made sure we were always okay and felt equally loved, and I know she was tired from being Wonder Woman 24/7, but she never shed a tear in front of us.

She knew that it was important for my brother and me to feel loved, especially at a young age. She made sure that we did our homework (even though we always did it) and if we slipped up the slightest, she took away the game systems, iPods, computers, phones, tablets, unplugged the televisions, and when we were old enough to drive, the car keys were taken away, too. We began to have curfews and given that they were fairly early, at about eight o'clock and maybe ten on the weekends, we were given the freedom to do anything and go wherever we wanted to as long as we checked in.

Most people say that she was too strict, but my mom wasn't any different than when she was married; the only change was that my brother and I were teenagers, so she couldn't just take away our toys and pop us on the hand anymore. Her methods had to grow and change with us, and as a result of their divorce, my brother and I are happier and better than we could have ever imagined.

The divorce itself wasn't easy - I remember being so angry for a few months until I got settled and used to the new routine of going every other weekend to my dad's house, my brother and I fought every single day, and my mom and I even got into a few arguments, but she knew it was out of anger (I was still grounded though), but once I got over it and myself, I realized all of the things that I was able to do, like have slumber parties and actual birthday parties. She made sure that my brother and I grew up knowing our worth and told us that we would always have each other no matter what happens. Now, my brother is successful in his career, and I'm working my way through college.

Divorce isn't a bad thing. Many people believe that kids with divorced parents become deviant, but a kid can still become deviant if they have married parents. I'm living proof (just like a hundred plus other kids) that being raised by a single parent didn't turn me into a deviant child. I try to imagine what life would be like if my parents had stayed together, but when I look on my life now and try to compare it to what could've been, I'm much better off now that I was raised by a single parent.

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