Thank you for showing me kindness and compassion. You are such a strong father, even if sometimes you may believe you are not.
You spent countless years dealing with my mom and I. All the fighting, all the tears. You were placed in the middle, to back up your wife or defend your daughter. Sometimes the choice was difficult.
Thank you for the times you defended me. Thank you for the times you allowed me to stand behind you for protection. Thank you for just trying to understand this crazy teenage daughter you had been given.
I’m truly sorry for all the late nights as a kid. For all my anxiety attacks that kept you up all night. For all the meaningless trips to the hospital, all the times I wouldn’t let you come near me.
I’m sorry for the ways in which I have hurt you. For all the disappointment I’ve caused. But, thank you. Thank you for never giving up on me.
As I’ve gotten older we’ve grown closer, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. You’ve turned to a person I can go to when I’m in need of help. Sometimes I still struggle with feeling like you may not care, but I know you care more than anyone ever has.
Thank you for the times you’ve prayed for me, for reminding me that I need to turn to God. Thank you for the hugs even though I feel uncomfortable showing love. Thank you for reading the Bible every morning as you got ready for work.
You don’t know how much you inspire me. I see you as this caring, loving, compassionate human. I can only try to be more like you. You’re often times misunderstood, but I see the love you have for others.
You taught me to roll my window down and give the homeless man on the street my last dollar. You taught me to buy food for the people outside the restaurant begging. And to not judge them as I drive off and see them on their smart phones. You showed me the importance of going to church and finding a community. You showed me the importance of coffee when you let me have my first Starbucks drink.
My sense of adventure comes from you. My longing to travel and see the world, it was inspired by you. I may not have wanted to join the military, but I am still a proud Navy Brat. I got my anchor tattoo in honor of you. You kept me down on this earth, but never let me stop dreaming.
My love of giving people gifts came from you, because of how special you made me feel when you’d come home from a business trip with a gift for me. You showed me that caring for others is just as important as caring for yourself.
I look forward to spending more time with you, to get to know my father more. You gave me my taste in music, my love of video games, and I find myself wanting to watch war movies.
I don’t know where I’d be without you. You helped me survive all these years. You showed me that love doesn’t have to mean being put down constantly.
You aren’t perfect, neither am I. But you try your best for those you care about. Thank you.