On Father's Day, I find myself thinking about how blessed I am to have a dad like mine. Like many people these days, my parent's got divorced when I was still growing up. My dad may have “left” my house a few years ago, but he never left my life, not even for a second. He has always stepped up and been the best possible father I could have ever asked for, and a million thank you's wouldn't be enough.
Looking back on my childhood, I have countless memories of all of our adventures while I was younger. You were not only my best friend, but my favorite person in the world. From baseball games, amusement parks, shopping trips and movies, you always knew how to make the time we spent together memorable.
I want to thank you for stepping up at a point in a girl's life when a lot of fathers decide that it would be easier to just disappear. Divorce is more than difficult for everyone involved, but sometimes it's for best, and both you and mom have proved that it’s possible to be separated yet still be an outstanding parent. Even though we were getting used to living apart, you made the time and effort to show your unwavering interest in my life.
It's been a while since you could hold me in your arms and sing "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith until I would fall asleep. I'm in college now and it must be hard to see your little girl grown up, but I just want you to know I am forever grateful for you and the influence that you made on who I am. I owe my character and values to your love and discipline. Thank you for always picking me up when the world knocks me down. You taught me that there's always hope in any and all helpless situations. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You taught me to always defend my beliefs, regardless of if it goes against the beliefs of others. You also taught me to respect the beliefs of others, and that everyone should be treated with love. You showed me the importance of being kind to others in any and all circumstances. I am lucky to have a father who puts the needs of others above his own. Whether it's something small like helping me out with grocery money, or something big like helping me pay for rent, you demonstrate your love for me all the time.
You are my first call when I can't quite figure out how to be an adult, whether it be "where do I go to get my oil changed?" or "how do I make sure the chicken is fully cooked?". You taught me to drive, how to fold laundry, how to ride a bike, even when you promised you "wouldn't let go."
Thank you for being my biggest fan. Thank you for being strict with me when necessary and for being lenient enough to let me learn from my mistakes. Thank you for working so hard to give me the best life possible. Thank you for always making me laugh. Thank you for helping me with my math homework, even if it took four hours and ended with me in tears because I just didn't understand. Thank you for teaching me not to take life too seriously. Thank you for the endless financial support. Thank you for always letting me steal your t-shirts. Thank you for showing me the world. Thank you for being the “cool Dad”. Thank you for loving my friends as if they were family. Thank you for always being invested in my life. Thank you for always being on my side. Thank you for giving me a high expectation to compare my future boyfriends to. Thank you for being you.
You deserve for this day and every day to be Father's Day. You deserve the entire world. I cannot express how wonderful it is to have a father like you. You are selfless, you are strong, you are everything I aspire to be as a parent one day. Even though I can't thank you enough, I will never stop trying. Happy Father's Day.
Your little girl.