I wrote this months ago, for no particular reason, but today is the perfect day to let you know:
My fondest memory of us was in high school. My heart had been broken by some teenage catastrophe over a softball game. I was inconsolable. You took me on a walk around the field as I tried to compose myself. I don’t remember what you said or if words were even exchanged. You were just there, helping me put the pieces of myself back together.
As I’ve grown into an adult, I see glimpses of you within myself. At the many jobs I’ve held, people comment on my “professionalism.” I absorb the compliment as if they are complimenting some family relic I’m wearing.
“Thanks.” I think to myself.
“My dad gave it to me.”
“You have such a strong, graceful, and accepting way of dealing with people from every walk of life.” I’ve heard.
“Thanks, my dad gave it to me.”
I have your stride. Your long legs, strong hands, and soft heart. I have your observant eyes, analytical mind, stoic demeanor. I have your eyes that see hidden potential, and the courage to give deserving people a chance, opportunity, or just love and kindness.
In my current role, working for what I call the family business, I have to bear the news to hundreds of individuals, that due to their background check, they can’t work for our company. I have an approach that I learned from you. They call it “the velvet hammer.” The art of relaying very disappointing news in a way that leaves people still feeling hopeful somehow. I got that from you.
I carry my own innate qualities of intense emotion, wildness, impulsivity, and mania, but the pieces I have of you are my steadfast anchor.
You teach me patience, unconditional and selfless love, sacrifice, and fierce loyalty.
I wear the badge of being your daughter like a Medal of Honor, like a crest stitched on my heart.
When I think about you, Dad, I think about the phrase I’ve heard you say a million times and that never tires.
“Do you know how much I love you?”
Yes. Always. I have never once doubted the incomprehensible love you have for me. No matter the distance, how much we do or don’t get to talk. I always feel your love and presence in my life. There are the things about you that I see and remember, but then I am also aware and ever grateful for the countless prayers, encouragement, pride, and selfless acts of love, that I know have transpired from you without my knowing.
You don’t love for show, you love because you do, very quietly, and so powerfully.
Dad, you have given me the world. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if not for the opportunities you’ve provided for me and the selfless unconditional love and support you have shown me. Despite the mistakes I’ve made or the times I’ve lost my way, you always look at me like the precious little girl in a pink dress that use to dance on your feet.
You will always be the best man I have ever known.
I love you, Dad.
“You’ll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream” – Once Upon A Dream, Sleeping Beauty. The song you use to sing as I danced on your feet.