This is going out to all of the amazing, dedicated fathers out there; you're the best.
In my 18 years of living, I have come to know a variety of dads. Each—my friend's dads, uncles, grandparents, and my own dad—have taught me the true definition of a father's love. Beginning with my friend's dads, I've been treated like family, and I know that I can turn to any one of them for advice and they will always be willing to help. My uncles, despite tension in our family, have always shown me nothing but respect and love, and I will forever cherish the love of my five, incredible uncles.
My dad has always been my hero, my rock, my best friend, and the best role model anyone could've ever asked for. Despite having one of the roughest childhoods ever, he rose above his struggles and was determined to be the best father to me and my brother. He's taught me how to work hard, honestly, and gracefully. For the first 13 years of my life, my dad had been working for the same company, but could not find a passion in what he was doing on a daily basis. Finally, he decided to risk a steady income for the world of real estate— a career he had always wanted to pursue. With his goals in mind and faith by his side, my dad took the leap and is the happiest I've ever seen him. This has taught me to never settle in life, to never be complacent, to ALWAYS strive for more. For as long as I can remember, my dad has always told me about the five F's in life: faith, family, friends, fun, finances. Over the years, whenever he would begin a lecture with the importance of the F's, I would always zone out (sorry dad, oops), but now I'm grateful for his dedication to teaching me the magnitude of my faith, the importance of good relationships with my family and friends, the necessary balance of fun and academics, and the value of managing finances in life. However, most importantly, my dad never fails to tell me that he is the first man to ever love me, and to never lower my standards for any friendship or relationship, which is a lesson I will always carry with me. Thank you, Dad, for everything you've done for me. I will be forever grateful for your endless love and support.
But how could I forget the moms who have taken up the father role and handle any situation with complete grace? I will always be in awe of those rockstar moms, and thank you for teaching me the importance of empowerment and independence.