Happy Birthday! I hope you are having one heck of a good day down there at the beach. I wanted to let you know on this special day, exactly what you mean to me.
When I think of growing up, I think of you working. A lot. And I don't mean that as a bad thing. When you come up in conversation (whether it's with people who know you or people who are just asking about my family), I tell them that my Dad is the hardest working person I know, and that he did what he had to do to provide for me and my sisters. I know it wasn't easy, but I love you for not giving up on us and for sacrificing food and sleep for us.
One of the biggest sacrifices I think of fondly was how you drove me to seminary and slept in the car while I attended. I think of having to do that for my girls and I honestly don't want to. I would rather stay in bed where it's warm, but it's important, and you recognized that it was important for me to go. Thank you for that.
You know, I tell Bri "I love you" a lot. Maybe I say it too much. Maybe she takes it for granted and it loses meaning by how much I tell her. Maybe I should cut back on saying it and do more to show it. Actions speak louder than words, they say.
I think about this because I notice that when you and I talk on the phone, we don't say "I love you." But you don't have to say it. You show me you love me by the things you do for me, and by the things you've always done for me.
You do so much for me and my family -- too much, really. So much that I know I can never truly pay you back for all of it. Not monetarily and not by acts of service. I will never be able to catch up, but I think that's okay. I think that's part of it. You do for me, and I do for Bri and Landyn. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to pay you back, as impossible as it is.
I think of you and I think of the perfect homemade ice cream, corny jokes and Ernest movies. I think of you and I think of someone I want to be like.
I think of you and I think I'm the luckiest girl to be able to call you Dad.