It’s funny how becoming a parent gives a person perspective about their own upbringing. You start thinking about how you want to raise your child and you carefully consider your parents’ approach. You run through reels of memories and think about what you would do the same, what you would do differently, and the things you couldn’t live up to if you tried… With all of this on my mind lately, I decided it’s high time I write you a letter to say thank you and tell you what I think of you as a Dad.
From the very beginning I was Daddy’s girl. I thought you were the coolest and I was so proud to be your “Peanut.” As a little girl we had an incredibly special bond– we were best buddies and both knew it. I wanted nothing more than to make you proud and be just like you.
Thank you for endless hugs and kisses and affection. You shared a fatherly warmth with me that most girls only dream about. Thank you for being home for dinner every night and talking to me about my day. Thank you for playing with me. Tubing on the lake. Catch in the yard. Refereeing for soccer. Bike riding. Showbiz pizza. You must have been exhausted on the weekends but you still made enormous amounts of facetime for me.
I have no words to communicate what it meant to me that you took me hunting and taught me how to shoot well. You always made me believe I could do anything a boy could do and then helped me gain the skills to make it so. You made sure I never felt out of place on those trips and you celebrated my abilities. Nothing has ever made me feel so special and so able.
Thank you for always coming after me when I stormed off (you must have done it a hundred times) and showing me you wouldn’t give up on me no matter how stubborn I was. My little heart needed to know you would be there even when I was unlovable and you proved you would be. I can’t tell you what that has done for me as a grown woman.
Thank you for taking me to church, reading me the bible, and encouraging me to pursue faith in a way that was right for me. Thank you for giving me space when I chose not to believe in anything. At times I fought you about God but now I can attribute part of my strong faith to the fact that I found it myself. Hmmm maybe you were smarter than I thought…
Thank you for providing so well for our family. I couldn’t appreciate it before I had my own household, but you always made sure our family never lacked anything. As a child I never experienced worry about money for a second, even if there were times that you were worried.
THANK YOU for loving Mom and honoring her under every circumstance. For encouraging her to be the world-beater that she is and giving her space to be the woman that God made her to be. You helped create the ultimate environment for her to set an example of womanhood for me.
Thank you for being kind and personable with EVERYONE we ever came across. You were always friendly and polite to people who served us– from waiters, to maids, to housekeepers. (The Earl of Grantham and Carson would be proud) What an incredible example to set for your children. It’s something that I think of daily and has shaped how I treat others. You were so gracious to all of my friends and boyfriends regardless of what you may have thought of them. And you weren’t just casually friendly— you made a calculated effort to connect with each of them.
Thank you for being such a good-natured goof ball. Mom may roll her eyes (it’s a wife’s prerogative) but you are SO FUNNY. Your “Bill-isms” make our family time such a blast!
Thank you for helping me to become strong even when the daddy in you probably would have rather made me comfortable.
Thank you for always believing in me and expecting me to succeed. And thank you for always holding me accountable when I failed.
Daddy, thank you for looking at my daughter the way I remember you looking at me. Your love and care echoes daily on the walls of my heart, and future generations will be shaped by it. What an incredible legacy you’ve created. How blessed I am to be your daughter.
With all my love, respect, and admiration,