All I ever had to do was raise my arms high and I knew what would happen next. Two hands, much larger than mine, would grasp onto my little palms and away I would go. Flying in the air. Swinging back and forth, until I got so dizzy that the ride had to stop. Then I would turn around, trying hard not to fall over, and wrap my little arms around my fathers waist and tell him how much I loved him before he could tell me.
It was always a race, a little game we played. Who could say I love you first? Even though I'm a little too old to be swinging around in my dad's arms, I can still feel all of the love that he has for me, no matter who says it first, or if it's even said at all. Every time I get a note left on my car after work, every time that he insists I don't have to change the oil myself yet... just let him do it. Every time a random bag full of my favorite gummy worms is placed on my pillow after a bad day I know that he loves me. It's always been the little things that have counted. To this day he questions what I'll be doing at night, and make sure I drive safe. If you need someone to pick you up give me a call, even though he knows that I won't be drinking that night. many people aren't lucky enough to have a man like this as their father. Someone who is willing to do anything, to go all out for you. And when I say all out, I mean all out.
Back in high school I was on the swim team. I had been since I was in seventh grade. And since seventh grade my father had never missed a meet. No matter how far away it may have been, I could always count on him being in the stands waving and cheering for his daughter. Then one day, my senior year, my dad couldn't show. Once in six years. That night I got home and found flowers and a note on how sorry he was that he couldn't see me swim and that he would make sure to cheer extra loud next time. How anyone can be this amazing is beyond me.
I've learned some of the most important things from him. Like, tomorrow is a promise to no one. If you hear the alarm in the morning, it's already a good day.
Life is lumpy. A lump in your oatmeal, a lump in your throat, and a lump in a breast are not the same. Learn the difference.
Speak a little, listen a lot.
Mermaids ARE real.
He has taught me to live, to laugh and to love with all of my heart. Because you're going to get hurt one way or another, so you might as well make the most of it. And I can't begin to express how thankful I am that I can call this man my father. One day I hope to be as funny, as witty and as wise as him. I hope that I can pass on all of the things that he has taught me to my children. That they'll say, gosh mom, you're just like grandpa. And I'll say, I know sweetie, aren't I lucky?