Happy Birthday! Let me start off by saying that I know I might not have been the easiest teenager to raise. I remember all those moments you had anxiety watching me wear that dress that was too tight, the moment I would tell you I was going on a date, or when I would break your heart by telling you I would never come home again just because you wouldn’t let me do something stupid. I never was good at sports, no matter how hard you tried to make me. Our “math tutoring sessions” always ended up with us fighting, even though I knew that all you wanted was to help me learn. However, I want you to know that through all those tough moments, since you first heard me cry in that hospital when I was born, I’ve always been your little girl. You may be turning one year older, but I still feel like I haven’t aged from that little girl who helped you blow out your own candles 10 or 15 years ago. I’m still that same little girl you taught to ride a bike, learn to dance, and taught me what to look for in a man.
I remember the nights you use to walk into my room at night. You believed that I would be sleeping, so you would kiss my forehead and whisper that you love me. I would whisper that I loved you more as you walked toward the door. Those moments are something I miss more than anything, now that I don’t live at home. No one is there to kiss my forehead and tell me that they love me. Even if they were, it wouldn’t be the same, because no one can ever replace you.
I have to tell you that one of the hardest moments so far in my life was turning 18 and saying goodbye to you, mom, the siblings, and the dog. As you left, I will always remember mom bawling her eyes out and you next to her smiling, although I’ve always wondered if you ever secretly wanted to cry on the way home.
You have always thought that I am strong. Whenever we went to the doctor and I was scared, you would hold my hand and smile after making some silly joke to let me know that I’m okay and that I can do this. You have always taught me that I can be fearless, even when I’m at my weakest. You have always believed in me, that someday I would do great things for this world. For you, I have tried every year to not let you down. You have always made me out to be this brave and beautiful woman, no matter what age I was. You have had a major impact on shaping me into the woman that I am today. Even though it’s not my birthday, the greatest gift you have given me time and time again were those words “I’m proud of you.”
Every year on your birthday, I am always reminded of the big and little memories we have shared ever since your 30th birthday, the first birthday we shared together. Every year on your birthday, I will be reminded of how much I love being the little girl you have made me out to be.
Happy Birthday, Daddy! I hope I have made you proud.
Your Little Girl.