I love my Dad. From day one, there was nothing I loved more than being held by him. My earliest memory is watching Monday Night Football with him, and the highlight of every day was seeing him walk through the door. I would race to his side and never want to let go as he picked me up. He was my hero. He still is.
I feel so blessed to have the Dad I do. He is strong, determined, driven, and obstinate in the face of adversity. But he is also kind, incredibly generous, loving and affectionate. He raised me to be honest, hard working and full of integrity. Not only by telling me, but also–and especially–by showing me through his own actions. He is a great man. And such a strong leader for our family. I am so thankful to have grown up with such an amazing example of how to live, and how to treat others.
The greatest compliment I have ever received was being told I was like my Dad. I strive for this. His uncomprimising faith, devoted love for his family, and compassion for others are qualities that I can only hope to emulate in my life and relationships with those I love.
Growing up, I used to follow him around. I used to wait for what seemed like forever for him to get home from work, or a business trip. I used to dream of what it would be like for him to walk me down the aisle, for us to have our father daughter dance. We practiced in the kitchen more times than I can count, and I cherished each twirl, each talk, each dinner, vacation or simple moment spent with him.
Last July, he did walk me down the aisle. He put on a brave face when I was overcome with nerves and emotions leading up to the ceremony. He took my arm and held me as he had so many times before, and it was a moment I will never forget. Just like when he would walk in the door after work, he made everything better. His undying love and incredible strength gave me the confidence I needed. And I’m so thankful for him, for that memory, and countless others like it. No matter how crazy life gets, I always know I can count on him.
I love you, Daddy, and I’ll be your little girl. Always and forever.