The person I am writing this letter to is probably the least likely to stumble across this blog post at all… Anyone that knows my father knows he is not the most tech-savvy guy. Anyways, I hope mom sees this somewhere so you can read it 🙂
I know I’m not the most open in expressing my feelings to you and mom, but I’ve found it much easier to write it out instead…
The first thing I would like to say is thank you. I know you don’t think we have to thank you, but it’s hard not to after all you’ve done for us. Thank you for always having my best interests in mind, for letting me make my own mistakes and learn for myself, and for teaching me that life’s too short to take it too seriously.
Here are some of the ways you inspire me…
I admire your strength in the face of adversity. I won’t go into depth because I know you don’t want the world knowing, but I cannot even begin to fathom your strength in the battling of your long-lasting illnesses. The past ten years have probably been some of the toughest of your life, and somehow you had managed to trick me into thinking it wasn’t as bad as it actually was. No matter how crappy you felt, you always put your wife and five kids first. You took us on adventures every weekend and multiple nights during the week. You continued to be the amazing father we all know, love, and appreciate. I am amazed by your overall optimism and faith that your health will improve, as well as your mentality that every day on earth is a good one. I know you will do whatever possible to be able to watch us all grow up and have families of our own, which is something your parents weren’t fortunate enough to have; but I know with all my heart that they are looking down on us and they are more proud of you than they ever could’ve imagined.
Always Give 100%
Something you didn’t really have to vocalize much, but rather taught us by the act of doing, was to do something right or to not do it at all. I know you said you weren’t always this way, that you learned from trial and error, but by observing you all my life, I know you almost never take the easy way out. If I ever think of taking the easy route or to not give my best effort, I immediately hear a voice in the back of my head that leads me to do otherwise. I obviously have not mastered this, as I don’t believe anyone truly can; but what I can do is strive to feel that sense of fulfillment when I give my all to something as much as possible.
You’re ability to make something from almost nothing absolutely amazes me. Whether it’s something like building tree houses, beach volleyball courts, or ice skating rinks for all of us kids to enjoy; or rather something much larger, like starting your own business from nothing but a two-year degree and a $5000 loan that no bank seemed to be willing to give you. Through tons of strength-of-will tests and obstacles that I cannot even begin to comprehend, you managed to create something that would support all seven of us from day one; and for that, I am forever grateful. I know you don’t look at all of this as something magnificent you’ve done, but rather something you needed to do as a husband and father… but just know that the people you love admire you for your mental strength, resiliency, and positivity.
Always Make Time for the Things That Make You Happy
Last but not least, one of my favorites that I will carry throughout the rest of my life… you have always taught us how important it is to make time to do the things we enjoy. No matter how crazy life gets, you always make time for the various hobbies you like; whether by yourself, with your brothers/friends, or with us kids. It’s when life seems too much to handle that these times are the most important. They are what will keep us grounded in the face of tougher times.
You are a great inspiration to me and are a person whom I believe has always understood me on a level no one really ever could. This connection didn’t come from having frequent deep and personal conversations–something we all know I don’t really like to do–it’s just something that has always been. Some would say it’s just a father-daughter bond, but I believe it is much more than that. You know my overall mental state in the drop of a dime, without much interaction at all. You know that if I am struggling with something, I will eventually figure it out. However, there were times when you knew I needed some of your words of wisdom and/or a push to take that first step in the right direction. Even in those times, you knew the exact point to intervene. It was somehow always the perfect point in time when I wouldn’t be angry for you wanting to help, but rather I understood and appreciated how much you cared for me.
You and mom amaze me every day. Thank you for being the best parents anybody could ask for. You both are truly an inspiration.
With love from your favorite middle child,
Abby (aka scoocher)