To the man who taught me that love is a hard choice,

There is a song that always makes me think of you when it comes on. “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. I heard that song today, and so I’m writing this to thank you for teaching me what love is.

Being my dad was hard. And I made sure of that. Looking back at my anger from my teens is not something that I am proud of.

You made mistakes, sure, but I chose anger. I chose to make your life hard.

But despite all the things I chose, you chose to love me anyways.

From the countless embarrassing Daddy & Daughter dance classes I dragged you to on Saturdays, to never missing a dance recital or color guard competition. From driving 3 hours round trip every Wednesday just for an hour dinner, to helping me through one of the hardest times of my life just a couple short months ago, you have shown me what true love is. Love is a choice. It can be a hard choice sometimes, and it is a choice that must be made every day.

While I chose anger, you chose love. It would have been so much easier to throw the towel at me and say that you were done dealing with me, but you never did.

The truth is Dad, I don’t remember when I quit being such a brat. But I am so glad that I did.

Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for all of the little things that you do for me. Thank you for calling me when I’m too busy to think about anything other than school. But most of all, thank you for showing me that love is a choice that we can make in any situation.

Someday, when I’m in a relationship with the man I will marry, I’ll know that the reason I’m strong enough to make the choice to love him no matter what we may go through is because of the man who loved me first. Thank you Dad.

I love you to the moon and back.

Your (somewhat less) bratty Daughter,

Danielle