I have a very dear friend who lost his father a long time ago. It’s something we talk about on occasion, but it’s something that’s very present in our relationship. He loves his father deeply and fiercely. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
I love my father very much, but I have never been a “daddy’s girl”. My mom tells me that I used to sit in the window at the front of my house and watch for my dad to come home. I still get really excited when he gets home from a long business trip. He and I have had some great conversations in the car: funny ones, thought-provoking ones, plain old good ones. We’ve had some great jokes, some great stories, and some incredible experiences. But I’ve always taken my dad for granted. He’s always there, always helping, always my dad.
The better I get to know my friend, the more I appreciate my father. Don’t get me wrong, I think my friend is an incredible person, strong and brave and no less for having lost his father. But I am strong and brave because I haven’t. My father has made me a better person, helping me through my life in his own way. My father is quietly brave, a constant lesson in strength and courage to me. And I am finally starting to realize it. Without being morbid, I am starting to realize that my dad is a person. A person who could be not here. Not that I’m worried about my dad dying any time soon (I’m sure he’ll be around a long time), but knowing that my friend has grown up without his dad makes me realize that it’s possible to not have a dad around, even if he wants badly to be with you.
So, Dad, this is for you. For all the times you’ve helped, encouraged, built up, and supported me. Thank you, Daddy. I love you.