Growing up, my dad always had my back. Whether it was brushing my hair for me when I couldn't get the knots out, letting me win the game of "Guess Who," or coming to my youth cheer games with complete uninterest in the football players, and total focus on the glittered-faced nine year old girl who couldn't remember how to spell Panthers to save her life. Through the thick and the thin, my dad has been the biggest supporter of me.

He is a man of few words unless you get him talking about his butcher or the dinner he just prepared, his minimalistic nature will stick with me for years to come. We bicker like no other and roll our eyes back and forth to one another's remarks, but my dad will be my forever friend. He has never failed to show me my worth, or remind me that the stuffing tastes better inside of the turkey. I hope every little girl has the privilege of growing up under a role model as I had. I wish I could thank him for all he's taught me, but I am in hopes that someday, he'll see in me what I see in him.

He's generous, but not naive. He's kind, but not easily deceived. He's a genius, but not ignorant. My dad is the perfect blend of what every man should aspire to be. I have seen him work hard for everything he has and appreciate everything so deeply. The ease in which my dad smiles shows the compassion he possesses for not only those he's surrounded with but for the little everyday treasures life has to offer. My dad is the most sincere person I know, he will always give his honest opinion and tell me when I'm in the wrong, while simultaneously never failing to take my side. As I said before, he is my biggest supporter and has a way about him that boasts about everyone else's accomplishments while being extremely humble of his own.

He's funny too, if you ever need a laugh he'll be the first to whip out the "pull-my-finger" jokes or be the first person to sing every word a Frank Sinatra song. My dad knows not only how to make himself laugh, but he also makes the rest of our bellies hurt right along with his.

Not just with jokes, just by his heart, when I'm feeling low, all I know is the simplicity it will take to feel at ease. With the dial of the phone and a simple, "Hello," from my father, I always know: somewhere out there, I am loved unconditionally. And that's enough for me. In other words, I love you, Dad.