My Dad didn’t have to love me. He didn’t have to raise me. He didn’t have to pay for me. And buy me all the things as I needed as a child and a teenager. Or bail me out as an adult when I needed help. He didn’t need to come to my rescue all those times that I needed him. He didn’t have to teach me. He didn’t have to support me. He didn’t have to guide me through this thing called life, even when learning got tough. The most important part is, is that he didn’t have to love me like his own. And he does.
He has done all of these things. The best part is? He chose to and continues to choose to. He never treated my like I was a package deal – something or someone he would have to accept if he wanted my mom in his life. I wasn’t a burden in his eyes. I was a bonus.
He is my Dad and not my father. I think this was one, of many, of life’s greatest lessons that I have learned thus far. This lesson has taught me that blood means nothing. Love is the greatest gift one can give someone else. Character is everything. And my future husband has some big shoes to fill. Which is also why I have not walked down the aisle.
A man who “chooses to” versus “has to” – this is the definition of a man. This is also the definition of a great dad.
The world’s best dad is my Dad. There are no words to define or sum up who my Dad is and what he means to me. I would have to write a novel to explain and describe his characteristics but what I have learned from him and seen from him, will always be in my heart and set in my mind.
Thank you Dad for raising to me to a be a strong woman who can do manly things but still remain a woman. You’ve taught me to shoot guns. Face my fears. To ride snowmobiles. To take chances. To race snowmobiles. To earn respect. To ride motorcycles. To take the long way and not the short cut. To race motorcycles. To deserve respect. To turn a wrench and to change my own oil. To never slow down. To live wide open. To care about other people. To do things myself. To do the best that I can do. To do better than I think I can do. To never let anyone hurt me, and get away with it. To help other people in any way, or ways, that you can. To laugh and keep laughing. To respect your neighbors. To love unconditionally. To live within your means. To be extremely tough but to know when it is ok to cry.
I don’t have “daddy issues” as a lot of women and models do have, and that may be because I was lucky enough to grow up with this man in my life and to become his splitting image even though we share no DNA. I was lucky enough to have him teach me and allow me to grow with his guidance, love and influence.
My heart hurts today for several friends of mine who have lost their dads this past year. I dread that day and I know we can’t live forever. Knowing that we can’t live forever and that tomorrow isn’t promised, I remind you to cherish the ones you love and let them know what they mean to you.
Happy Father’s Day to a man who is the standard against in which I judge all men. No one will ever replace you. Or compare to you.
This is also why I am still single and not married.
What has your Dad taught you? Please share it with me. Give your dad hug from me. He deserves it. If you see mine, please give him a hug too.
I will leave you here. With that. And all of this.