Today is for the fathers. And though I'm 600 miles away from mine, I still think about him every single day.
Until my husband came along, he was "the" man in my life. I compared every other man to my Dad, each one required to be at least as smart, at least as funny, and hold me in the very highest regards. I expected nothing less from any other man who wanted to be a part of my life than I receive from my Dad. I knew within a couple of dates what my Dad would think about the boyfriend of the moment, and it always played at least a minor part in my decisions to move forward in relationships. I'm sure that's why I ended up with such a great husband. ;) I know he was proud the day he walked me down the aisle towards the man who would vow to take care of me for him forever.
My Dad taught me nearly everything I know. He prepared me to be a well-educated, well-rounded individual, and spared no affection in the process. He never let any preconceived macho manly instincts overshadow his affection for his little girl. My Grandma tells me now that he was never that way until I was born. Back then, people just weren't that affectionate I guess. He taught me that no matter what, you should never fail to let the people you care about know that you love them. Hugs were always a priority.
He's spent his life making sure that I did not go without, no matter what that meant for he and my mom. We never knew any of the stresses of being an adult, because they never put that upon us. Even though we never went without we were still raised to appreciate the value of the dollar, and had jobs as soon as we were old enough. We were never spoiled, but were as happy and well adjusted as 2 kids can really be.
I know once I do have my own children, it will be one of the great joys of his life as well as mine. No matter where life takes me from here, no matter how old I am or how many of my own children I may have, I am truly and eternally his little girl.
So today, I say thank you to my Daddy. Thanks for always being everything I needed, and everything I could have ever asked for. :)