To My Dad, The First Man I Ever Loved.

To My Dad, The First Man I Ever Loved.

You taught me how to love, how to live, and how to dream. Thank you.
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Dear Dad,

Not everyone has a father; in fact, those who do have a father figure in their lives are very blessed and lucky. You don’t always get the credit you deserve. A dad is a father, a mentor, a friend, a support system, a motivator, a teacher.

First off, I would like to thank you. Thank you for everything that you have ever done for me. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made to make sure that I could have everything that I ever wanted and needed. Thank you for all of the thousands of hours you have spent working and traveling to make sure that I could have a roof over my head and food on the table. Thank you for inspiring me to work hard in school. Thank you for always encouraging me to chase after my dreams. Thank you for always telling me that I could do anything that I set my mind to. Thank you for always having my best interest in mind. Thank you for always being my number one fan and coming to all of the softball games, recitals, cheerleading events, track meets, and band concerts that you could make it to. Thank you for loving me even though I’ve made some mistakes. I know that I don’t thank you for all that you’ve done for me as much as I should.

You taught me a lot throughout the last nineteen years of my life. You taught me how to fish and shoot a gun. You taught me about baseball and inspired my love of softball. And, even though I’m a big girlie-girl who loves shopping and makeup, I’ll never pass up a chance to go fishing with you or to go to a Pirates game. But, most importantly, you taught me how to love. God's love shines through you. You have taught me the importance of working and living life to the fullest. You have taught me that I deserve the best and to never settle for less. Your influence will forever be in my heart and on my mind. Thank you for setting such a great example for me and my brother.

Daddy, you truly are the best father a girl could ever ask for. I could never thank you enough for all you’ve done for me. I could never repay you for all the sacrifices you’ve made. Thank you for always being there for me and wanting to know what was going on in my life. You always supported me through all of my adventures growing up, and while it may be hard to see you little girl grow up, I want you to know that I will always be your little girl. I promise to always make you proud. I promise to always remember the lessons you have taught me and put them to use in my everyday life. I promise to never forget the memories I have with you, like going to our fishing spot in Farmington. I want you to know that I will forever treasure each and every moment we have together. Thank you for giving me such an amazing and blessed childhood. I’ll never forget our vacations, traveling with you on jobs before I started school, going fishing at our spot, and so many more. You made family a priority, and that’s such a blessing to have a father who put his family first. I know it wasn't always easy, but I appreciate all you have done for me and will continue to do for me throughout my life.

You were the very first man to be in my life. You were the very first man that I ever loved. I’m beyond blessed and so proud to have you as my dad. I love you.

Forever,

Your Little Girl.

Cover Image Credit: Jaime Salai

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A Goodbye Letter To My Best Friend

You'll always be my puppy.

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Dear Lexie,

I grew up with you, and then I watched you grow old. For 14 years you loved our family and greeted us each morning with your puppy smile. I'll never forget those first few years of life with you.

As you and your playful soul grew, so did my love for you. I have memory upon memory of you romping around on the carpet in our living room, eagerly seeking to engage us in a playful endeavor. Your tail would wag and your tongue would flop as you ran around in circles sharing your unbridled joy with us all. I'd then find one of your many toys and send it careening through air for you to dash across the living room in a tizzy.

As you continued to grow, so did your excitement and optimism for new feats of playfulness. Even in the sweltering heat of July, you would tear across the backyard in search of lost toys and a space to play. You'd run circles non-stop and I could never keep up with you! But as soon as both of us were tired, a nice swim would cool us both down. I would sit on the pool stairs next to you, both of us drenched after a dip, and just listen to you pant away while you still held your puppy smile. You were satisfied with yet another day filled with laughter, play, and companionship.

Even in your youth, you still had your moments of love and calm. I can remember the days when we would all sit as a family watching TV and you would sit quietly at our feet. Then when the time came, you would come and rest your head on the empty seat next to me and give me those big old puppy dog eyes. You always wanted to sit on the couch, and I always eventually caved. A quick two slaps on the seat and you would enthusiastically jump on to comfortably join me.

And the one thing I'll never forget about you Lexie was your insatiable hunger! Scores of cakes and cookies left on the kitchen counter were lost to you over the years. And even after a day of looting, you'd come to us at the kitchen table to rest your head on my leg to beg for more food (and once more I couldn't resist).

As you got on in age, you began to grow a white beard which stood out on your chocolate fur. You were no longer running around as frequently as you once had, but you still had every desire to play. But the one thing that never disappeared was that beautiful puppy smile. And so as I write this goodbye to you on February 2nd of 2019, I want you to know that we all love and miss you. You were a beacon of hope for our family, and you never let your ailments dampen your wonderful spirit. I'll never forget you or the times we had. I know now that you can finally steal all the cookies and cakes you want! While today might have been sad, I will forever remember all the joy you brought to us. Here's to you Lexie, my best friend of 14 years. I hope one day I can see your puppy smile once more.


Love,

Anthony

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