Dear Dad,

Come March 23, it will have been 13 years since you've been gone. The last time you saw me, I was a pudgy, glasses-wearing, 8-year-old with mousy brown hair and a massive, palette-expander induced gap in my front two teeth. Now, I'm 21-years-old, I have your height, standing tall at 5'11'', and my eyes, the same shade of chocolate brown as yours, are no longer concealed behind a thick glass frame.

The last time you saw me, I was in 2nd grade at Tenacre Country Day School. I surpassed all of my fellow classmates in reading ability, starting at a 6th-grade level, a feat which filled me with pride. Now, I am a junior at Lehigh University majoring in business information systems with a minor in political science. I cannot say that I have worked my way to the top of my class in any regard, but I do as well as I can. I have an internship this summer in New York City, similar to you, having had your grandiose experience in the big apple.

The last time you saw me, I was undeveloped in thought, in drive, in passion. I found within myself, beginning in the 6th grade, a love for singing. I used my voice to guide me through high school, having joined an a cappella group and performing in musical productions. I have a stubbornness that I have been told is derived from the likeness of yours, and a kick-ass sense of humor that never fails me. That, I entirely attribute to you and your quick wit and devilish comedic style. I strive to do well but do not allow room for disappointment, as I have found quite frequently that life's disappointments are only burdensome should you let them be. This determination, I have learned from you. Perhaps my argumentative side, which I have gleaned from your personality, will lead me in my journey to perhaps becoming a lawyer — in using my voice for more than just the stage.

As you can see, we share so many of the same qualities. In the 13 years that I have lived without you by my side, I have grown into a young woman who is just like her father. And for that, I still have the privilege of calling myself "Daddy's little girl." And for the 13 years to come, and the 13 following suit, I will continue on this path toward finding myself through your guiding light. I know you take pride in knowing who I have become, and who I will be. I could never have done it without you.

I miss you, dearly, Daddy. I love you to infinity and beyond.

Love,
Penguin