The word ‘Father’ can be defined in many ways, and the person we give the title ‘Father’ to does not have to be our blood. It can simply be someone who has shown us the way or made certain parts of life that much easier for us.
To me, ‘Father’ means having someone in your life who protects you, even when you don’t ask them to. It means showing up when the times are tough, and lending out a hand when you need some help up. It means honesty, and constructive criticism because we all need someone in our lives who will tell us how it is. To me, ‘Father’ means direction, and being shown the best way to go. It means support of all kinds and a love that can’t be found in anyone else. ‘Father’ can also be described as a hero, role model, inspiration, etcetera. Regardless of how you define the word, or who you dedicate #FathersDay to, it is important that we celebrate the father figures in our lives because they are a huge reason for why we have a strong foundation to stand on.
For me, my father was not only all the above, but he was also the person that showed me not all heroes wear capes; some just work really hard, love really hard, and provide for those that they care about.
Happy early Father’s Day to all of you out there who are the hero for someone else. You have one of the most important jobs, and you deserve more than one day.
A note to my father:
My earliest memory is with you. I was four and you took me to Busch Gardens -- an amusement park located in Florida. I don’t know why I remember that memory as my first, but I know it was then that I fell in love with roller coasters, and gained this instinctual thrill for life. Without even knowing it, you became the person who made me want to face my fears.
Growing up you and mom did a good job making sure I could follow my passions, but it didn’t take long for me to grasp onto soccer. I always loved seeing you and mom on the sidelines because it instilled in me this ability to perform well under pressure, and I always enjoyed accomplishing things right before your eyes. Eventually, my talents took me on to track, and this is where I discovered I could truly shine. I disappointed you that day I told you I was quitting track & field. I may not remember all the times that I made you upset at me, but please know that I will always remember the times I disappointed you. I never meant for that to happen.
From the day, I was born you have shown me true work ethic, and because of that, I always knew the importance of working hard and being able to support yourself. My independence stems from the fact that you taught me I could become whoever I wanted if I worked hard enough for it. I apologize for all the times I forgot about this part of me, but it is because of YOU that I will always strive for what I deserve; no matter how many times I may stumble and fall, I will always choose to stand back up.
You have helped me survive my entire life pretty much, and up until recently, I have probably leaned on you too much at times to bail me out of certain situations. Literally. I am sorry for having to put you and mom in certain predicaments, but please know that I am grateful for you always showing up for me when I need you to the most. I can only promise to be better moving forward, and I think we can finally agree that I have been doing my half of the deal: showing up for the life that you and mom helped create for me. It is only fair that I started to do what is best for me, since you have always done what is right by me, and I no longer want you and mom to have to worry about me.
Because of you, I know the importance of paying all my bills on time, and how credit scores can say a lot about who you are. Because of you I know the value of loyalty and staying true to your word. Because of you, I know resilience, and what it takes to get back up even when you don’t want to. Because of you, I know fight or flight, and understanding that fear is something we create in our own minds. Because of you I know determination, and never giving up for what I believe is good.
Because of you I have a good father figure in my life, and there have been so many times where I should have been more grateful for that, but I know better now. I see the value you have brought to my life, and I no longer want to be someone that you didn’t raise me to be.
You have and always will be my hero, Dad.
Thank you for always paving a path for me, and helping me find my way back when I was unable to find it on my own.
I love you,