As I walk down the aisle of the local farmers’ market, passing rows of fresh produce and happy customers, I get stopped by a member of my community.
“You have the greatest dad,” she said to me, “and what a great relationship you two have.”
I couldn’t help but smile and agree – “I know, aren’t I so lucky?” I replied.
I’ve always known that I have a great dad but to have someone else go out of their way to tell me how great they think he is really solidifies how special of a man he truly is.
Long story short, my parents have been divorced for almost five years now. It was a little messy and quite difficult for my family – who am I kidding, it still is sometimes. In the blink of an eye, I became the only female in a household full of three men. And let me tell you, it was testosterone overload.
During this transitional period in my life – I was 16, so you can only imagine how sensitive/overdramatic I was – my father was always by my side. From every little bump in the road to major catastrophes, he has held my hand every step of the way.
All daughters need their dads, but I need mine more than most.
We’ve always had a very special relationship. He took me to my first professional baseball game (the New York Mets, of course), came with me while I tried on almost one hundred dresses for my senior prom and sports a “Mercy College Dad” t-shirt on the first day of every semester.
The greatest gift my father has ever given me, besides a lifelong friendship, is my work ethic. He works harder than any person I know, especially because he’s the President of the Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, runs the local farmers’ market every summer season and is essentially a single dad of three. And luckily, that ethic has been passed down to me. He has taught me how to manage my time well, the importance of thought-provoking work and to always be open minded.
I once heard a saying that goes, “When I’m at my best, I am my father’s daughter,” and that so easily puts my feelings into words.
Through two colleges and three different majors, he’s always been my biggest supporter. With him, I always know that I’ll have someone in my corner.
I’ve come to realize that not all parent/child relationships are like this.
My very own relationship with my mother is quite complicated, so I understand the pain. Not everyone has that unconditional love, can make you laugh-until-you-cry type relationship with their parents but luckily, I have that with my father.
So, to the man who continually pushes me to be a strong, hard-working and overall kickass woman, thank you.
Thank you for always knowing when I need to talk and understanding those times that I need space. Thank you for talking to me every day, even though we may not see each other. Thank you for supporting my crazy dreams and helping me realize that nothing is out of reach, as long as I try hard enough.
I like to think that behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad.
I am where I am today because of your guidance and kind heart. And I’m honored to have your handwriting tattooed on my arm with the message “Love Always.” It continually reminds me that the world isn’t such a bad place after all – especially when I have you in it.
So thank you, for everything.