To My Firefighter, Welcome Home, Dad

To My Firefighter, Welcome Home, Dad

You have always been my Super Man.

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Dad,

I can't believe after 25 years of service; you're finally retiring your position as Lieutenant Firefighter at the Warren Fire Department! It seems like just yesterday, Mom was taking me to the station where you would make me balloons out of your medical gloves and lift me up into your fire truck.

We've missed so many holidays without you, but in the end, I see that it was all worth it. I am so grateful to say that I have a dad who served as a firefighter and has also come home safe in the end. You have shown me what it truly means to commit 100% and put your life out on the line for the better good of the world, and that means so much to me. Your bravery, courage, and strength have left an immense imprint on the community of your people during your tenure as a Firefighter.

I will never forget asking mom why you were gone so much as a child before I knew how much of a responsibility your job as a first responder really was, but now I truly see how much you were willing to give of yourself to not only serve the people but to support your wife and kids. I may have been secretly afraid that you weren't going to make it home many times, but I always knew in my heart that you were doing the right thing in the name of benevolence and family. It just makes it that much more of a blessing to see you safe at home in the end, where we can appreciate you for all that you have done and all that you have become after these 25 years.

In this tribute, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for being the loyal, impactful, assertive, righteous, prideful, selfless, and dedicated person that you are. Without you and your support, I wouldn't be half the person I am today. Not only would I not be who I am today, but so many people in the Warren community would not be who they are today. You have touched the lives of the people you have helped, and they would not be the same without you. Who knows? If it weren't for your heroism, some of them might not even be leading the lives that they are today. It's the butterfly effect. You may only touch a few people in your life, but what matters is that you've touched them deeply. That's one thing you've taught me that I will carry with me always. For that, I owe you and the rest of the Firefighter community my greatest appreciation.

It must be so surreal for you to be leaving a position that has been so close to your heart and that you have held for so long, but I can tell you that Mom & I are so ready to welcome you back home with open arms. You can rest in recognition and great pride in the fact that you have served your great purpose in the world.

Now sit back, relax, and crack open a beer! Here's to Lieutenant Steve D. Zanin signing out, for good.

I love you bunches!

Your Daughter. xo

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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6 Lessons My Father Gave Me To Help Me Become A Better Man

Life lessons given to me from a dad who I did not appreciate enough.

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My father grew up in the inner city of Chicago. The Austin Neighborhood. Now if you happen to not be as knowledgeable of Chicago like my father is, the Austin Neighborhood is/was one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago in terms of violence, and drugs, and other things. He was the first person in his family to go to college and he ended up going to graduate school to become a doctor. These life lessons below are some of the reasons why I am who I am today, and I am very grateful that he has taught me or showed me these things.

1. Always value education 

Given that my father was the first in his family to go to college, this one was sort of a given. He told me to always put education first, as that will help you achieve your dreams. He taught me that it was okay to "love school" when it was socially unacceptable to say those two words together in elementary school. He taught me the value of staying up late at night and studying and working hard to become the best version of yourself.

2. Always respect others

Always respect others, but don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. This one to me was self-explanatory. Always respect people no matter their race, religion, or political orientation, in the end, it does not matter because people are not defined by that one characteristic. They are defined by who they are on the inside, and that takes actually getting to know someone as opposed to just listening to 'hearsay'. He said to do these things, but stand up for what you believe in. "People are never going to agree on everything or believe the same way as you are" he so commonly has said; but, "if you show that you will respect others for who they are, in turn, you will build respect and credibility when you stand up and voice what you believe in". No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, I have made this a life goal and motto.

3. Respect life and live it to the fullest

He said this in both religious and personal way. In a personal way, he wanted me to know that it was okay to have fun and enjoy your life, as long as you respect it and live it to the fullest doing what you love. In a religious sense, he taught me the importance of childhood and life in a religious sense when he told me I was adopted. He said to me, "GOD put you in my family, and I am so proud that he did. Make sure that you are ready when you want to create life and start a family because the human life that you create with another woman is its own individual being created by GOD and deserves only the best."

4. Always remain energetic

Always remain energetic and positive no matter what circumstance is occurring. You can be going through a battle with cancer, or you can be finding true love. Life is always going to have its ups and its downs, and you cannot let that determine how you act or appear before other people. He always told me to "put a smile on my face and appreciate the things that I have, for there are others who wish they could have what you have," and I never truly realized how real this was. He taught me to always stay positive because that positivity and that energy can cause a smile to spread someone else's life. I have worked to always be extremely energetic and positive as this helps to make time go by faster, and it helps you appreciate the way things are and recognize the true power of what we as Americans and what I as a college student have been given.

5. Value hard work 

Value hard work and only give 100% your best effort. This one is self-explanatory. My father did not have any financial platform to jump off of, or an older sibling to lend his or her books to him. He had to work hard and sacrifice in order to become who he is today. He told me that if you keep working at something, and you keep trying and trying and giving it your all eventually whatever you are working towards will go your way; and, that one victory is all the spark you need to shoot off the ground. As Rachel Platten puts it in her hit song, "Fight Song," "I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion." Hard work - to me and my father - is that match, and the explosion is our success.

6. Don't quit

If you see something you want, run after it and don't stop until you have received the 'fruits of your labor'. This one to me I have applied in mainly education and knowledge. If I want to know about a certain thing, I will put my phone down and read about it - yes even sometimes with a physical book from the library. If I want to get something that I cannot afford, I will pull together as much money as possible and work for whatever else I need and then be happy to see that my hard work ended up helping me get what I wanted.

I am very blessed that GOD put me into this family when I was born. I am thankful that my birth mother - wherever and whomever she may be - decided to give me up for adoption so that I can grow up with the wonderful man that my father truly is.

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