A Certain 'Thank You' To My Dad

A Certain 'Thank You' To My Dad

This probably isn't the "thank you" you're expecting.

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I am so (and I cannot stress this enough) blessed to have the dad that I do. There are a lot of things in this life I owe my dad a huge "thank you" for. Driving me to dance class multiple times a week for years, brushing my hair every day when I was little before he took me to pre-school, and hugging me when I have been upset.

Some other things include holding me accountable when I have messed up, while also reminding me he loves me no matter what, teaching me to be fearless in going after my dreams, and being my best friend every single day.

But there is one more thing I think I owe my dad a substantial "thank you" for marrying my stepmom.

I am so unbelievably happy for my dad, as he found someone who makes him happier than ever.

Seeing them together, it is beyond obvious how much she compliments his life, gives him endless amounts of unconditional love, and listens to his jokes.

The thing is, though, that when she married him and took on the role of being a wife, she also took on the role of being a stepmother.

When doing that, she did not have to do so in such a selfless, graceful, compassionate manner. She did not have to do so with such enthusiasm. And she definitely did not have to accept me and treat me as her own.

But she did.

There are few people I look up to as much as I do with my stepmom. She is a wonderful person and has been an exemplary example of hard work, kindness, beauty, and strength.

When I have gone through difficult times, she has been there. And it has not been out of obligation, pity, or as a "favor". It is because she WANTS to be there for me and chooses to be. As far as I can tell, she does not think twice about it.

When I have been happy and am excited about certain accomplishments, she has been there. She has rooted for me, helped me, and made it known she is proud of me.

She has been there for me to confide in, listens to my jokes (I take after my dad when it comes to my humor), and pushes me to be my best.

I think we all are aware I have not always made it easy. In fact, I have actually made it rather difficult at times in the past. But in spite of that, she never gave up on me, and she chose to continue giving me more of her love and forgiveness than she ever needed to.

For that, I will forever be beyond grateful and I will spend the remainder of my life attempting to show her just how much I love, appreciate, and respect her.

To my dad: thank you so much for marrying her.

And to my stepmom: I am so proud to be able to call myself your stepdaughter.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Letter To My Father On His Birthday—Because Words Are The Best Way To Express My Love For You

My words are better than any tangible gift.

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Throughout the roller coaster that has been my relationship with you, we have gotten only stronger and better able to communicate. I spent the last month trying to think of a gift that is worthy of your ownership, but I have found that the best gifts are the ones that come from the heart.

Happy birthday Dad. I love you.

Jasmine Rainey

Hi Dad,

To begin, I would like to share part of a poem that I found, written by Edgar Albert Guest.

"Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men."

I found this, and it got me thinking about how much I admire you. I don't know half of what you have been through, but I know that it is more than me. From your experiences, you have taught me how to avoid them. You've taught me that it takes a village to raise a child and that neighbors will not hesitate to snitch when you are doing something that you aren't supposed to. You've taught me how to be responsible with my money (a lesson I am still learning), how to treat those I disagree with, and how to use my voice effective and respectfully. Most importantly, you have taught me to be an independent, black girl.

Jasmine Rainey

Dad, I wrote in a journal some years ago and said, "I always look up to you because you are the epitome of strength and responsibility. I never want anything more than to make you proud." That statement is true to this very day. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the perfect daughter, but you always remind me that you love me — not just for who I am, but for who I am becoming as well. You've never once given me a reason not to be myself around you.

With you, I know that I can root and toot to my heart's desire. With you, I can love whoever I want and know you will still accept me — and that might be the most important way you have shown your love. Coming out to you was nerve-racking, to say the least. I was scared that you might question it or not want me to be your daughter anymore, but you didn't react at all. You immediately reassured me that, "you are still my daughter and I love you." You may not have realized how grand of a gesture that was, but it meant everything to me.

Jasmine Rainey

I think the thing that I really love about you most, Dad, is that we have grown together. You have not remained the same person you were when I was three, thirteen, or seventeen — and obviously neither have I. You have always said that "we are smarter than we were yesterday," and it is unbelievably true, especially for us. Our relationship is stronger than it was yesterday or last week, last month, or last year. We are growing so close, and I can't imagine having it any other way.

I love you so much Dad. Happy birthday!

With love,

Your little princess

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