I never knew what it meant to have an unconditionally loving father until I became best friends with your oldest daughter seven years ago. Since then, you’ve shown me nothing but love, trust, support, and honesty. You can spot if I’m feeling down from across the dinner table and it’ll take you two milliseconds to turn my frown upside down. You value my opinion and what I have to say. More than anything, you value my happiness. The same way you value your two daughters happiness.
You cared enough to make me your third daughter.
When I was scared after having an emergency surgery, you came as soon as you could to check up on me and bring me food to make sure I ate. You were the first person prepared to bring me to the pharmacy when I was hopped up on painkillers unable to drive after you had just returned from driving two hours home. You never failed to make me feel like I had something to fall back on if everything else went to shit. You never failed to remind me that there was a home away from home I could go to if I ever needed a place to breathe.
One of the things that meant the most to me about the way you treated me was the fact that you took care of me and looked after me despite the fact that things weren’t easy for you either. Most people are willing to help when their life is in order but are also easy to hide when their life is a mess. You never had it easy. You were trying to juggle being a single father while working full time and supporting a household while trying to make time for yourself too. It’s easy to get caught up going through the motions when you’re a dad and you’re focused on being the provider. It’s your most important job. And it goes without question that you wouldn’t have it any other way.
No one really stops to say thank you for all that you do every second of every day. I’ve spent my whole life being envious of everyone who had a supportive parent. I grew up feeling like I constantly had to walk on eggshells in order to please my parents. They’re my mom and my dad. I’ll never say that they didn’t take care of me or do what they could in their power to be there for me. They’ve spent as much time as they could getting as close to me as they were comfortable with. But you didn’t waste any time when it came to making me feel welcome.
When I got my first car you were the one who stressed the importance of allowing you to show me how to change a flat tire. You were the one cheering me on at my high school graduation when my own dad wasn’t there. You were the one who trusted me to cheer your daughter up when she was down. You were the one who drove us to Boston for a concert and made it possible for us to feel like we had the chance to be kids. After every stupid break up you were there to comfort me and remind me that I’m worth more than anything any guy could give me.
You ask for nothing in return. You want your children to be happy and successful. You want them to be successful only if they’re happy. Children don’t see that most of the time. They pay attention to what you say “no” to, but not why you say it. You are everything every daughter could want in a father. You’re everything every father wishes they could be.
Thank you for being the best possible father to my best friend. Thank you for making her world stable and supporting her through every choice she makes. Thank you for not getting mad at me when I openly admitted to speeding and had a question about something I felt in my car. Thank you for the millions of laughs you’ve given me along the years. Thank you for being the best dad #2 to me. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for being you.