First I want to say that my dad is an amazing person! He was the oldest of 4 boys with his own 2 boys ages 4 and 6 when he met my mom. So he had NO experience with girls... yet he acquired a 14 year old girl, a 9 year old girl and a 5 year old boy when he married my mom. Yep, Just the 7 of us! I'm sure his first experience with girls was a challenge, seeing as I was a teenager... a teenage girl. Yikes!
Letter written in approximately 2003. I was 25 years old.
I know on Father's Day when everyone is around, we give silly cards and laugh and pass them around for everyone to see... of course I have one of those, but I wanted to send a special note to you just to let you know how much you mean to me as a father.
I have learned that you don't have to be a "biological" father to be a dad. I have learned that sending a birthday card or a Christmas card doesn't make you a dad... but being there on the birthday or on Christmas does. I have discovered that when people ask me about my "real dad" they have no clue what a real dad means to me! I have learned that a real dad doesn't just send money on his granddaughter's first birthday... he sits next to her while she blows out her candles. A real dad is someone that listens when needed... or offers advice without ever expecting his kids to take it... only expecting them to think about it and make the decision that is best for them. A real dad walks his "daughter" down the isle at her wedding because it means everything in the world to her for him to do it. A real dad raises his kids, goes to sporting events, goes to the movies, punishes, loves, respects, cries, laughs... sometimes all at the same time. A real dad focuses on raising his kids to make the right decisions, but forgives when they sometimes don't. A real dad gives his heart, soul, sweat, tears and love to his kids at any moment - whenever they need him. To me... my "real dad" is you.
You are so special to me in so many ways. You have made my mom so happy... you have raised my sister and brother to be wonderful, smart and caring young adults... you have raised me with family values, love and understanding that I am using with my own family now. You have been a real grandfather to Taylor - her eyes light up when she sees you or talks to you. On top of that, you have raised your two boys into respectable young men while still making time for the three of us other kids. You never once made me feel like I was less important because I wasn't your "real kid". Even now, when you introduce me to people as "your daughter" I get a lump in my throat. You are one of a kind and speaking for my sister, my brother, and myself, we are so lucky that you and mom found each other. I have never in my life seen mom happier than she is right now.
I am so proud of you and your new found faith in Jesus and the church. It shows in your actions and the way you carry yourself. You have changed your life and it is just one more asset to add to your great list of accomplishments.
I don't think you even realize the impact you have on people. Everyone in your company has told me how lucky they are to work for you and how great it is to have a boss like you. They all respect you as a person, not just an employer. They all think of you as a friend.
I just wanted to tell you how much you really mean to me... as my dad. You are a very special person and everyone can see it! You shine when you smile! And from now on, when people ask me about my "real dad" I will tell them exactly who that is... you!
I love you and hope you have a wonderful Father's Day!
I feel the exact same way today... 10 years later! I love you DAD! Happy Father's Day from your daughter! You are truly ON IT!!!!
|Me, My Dad and My Sister in The Keys 2009|