I just want to take a minute to tell you how grateful I am for all of the moments that have gone unthanked; I know there have been too many. So first, I want to thank you for being strong. I want to thank you for showing me to be the same, even in the midst of some of life’s toughest circumstances. I want to thank you for your love, even when I’m difficult. I know you always say you have a hard time expressing emotion I -- suppose I get that from you -- but you’ve definitely managed to do so for 21 years because I haven’t gone a moment without knowing how much love you have for me and my siblings.
Dad, I want to thank you for more than the big things. I want to thank you for all the little moments you probably don’t even know that I remember, that I have actually carried in my heart for many years. Thank you for coming to all of my soccer and basketball games, my swim meets, piano recitals -- even for taking on the task of coaching my obnoxious teammates and me for a few years. Thank you for getting kicked out of games for being "too enthusiastic," truly -- funny moments like those have been some of my favorites. Thanks for bringing me McDonald's before swim heats, because we all know mom would have never done that. Thank you for spoiling me, with often the most random and bizarre of gifts. Those gifts have been my favorite, because no matter how off the wall they are, I know you must have put a lot of effort into thinking of and finding such funny things.
Thank you for pushing me to be better. As an angsty little adolescent, I may not have appreciated it. Now, though, when I’m up late writing a paper or studying for an exam, I remember all the multiplication tables and spelling drills you would have me complete as a kid. And I think, "I’m not letting all that hard work go to waste! I am going to ace this test!" Thank you for thinking my best is better than what I may think, because it has only made me better and more dedicated to being the best student, friend, daughter, and sibling I can be.
Praise God for you showing me the importance of puppies and the lesson that a dog is truly man's best friend. Thank you for eating the strangest things while still trying to cook meals of my liking. Thank you for teaching me more than I ever wanted to know about golf. For playing Horse with me until one day I finally beat you (but I think we can both now admit that you let me win). Thanks for taking me to your alma mater’s football games, to the driving range even though I’m terrible at putting, to church whenever the doors were open when I was just a little tomboy that hated putting on a Sunday dress. It’s those sometimes overlooked gestures that have made all the difference.
Daddy, thank you for always reminding me of the importance of serenity; that God’s will and timing are perfect even when the current circumstances may look like complete crap. Thank you for teaching me the value of "accepting the things I cannot change, the power to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Thank you for living that out, for pursuing a relationship with me even when I didn’t really want one -- because of that, you have become one of the most important people in my life.
Most of all, thank you for just being you, Dad. Your stubbornness may drive me crazy, your always having to have the last word can be exhausting, and your love for dogs is a bit ridiculous. But what can I say about any of those things? Other than the fact that I am most definitely my "dad’s daughter," because I am all of those things as well; and I wouldn’t want it any other way.