When I was a kid we played a game called “Lion”. You would chase us around while we laughed and hid, wanting you to catch us so that you would tickle us until we screamed. Then you would ‘die’, falling to the ground with a huff.
We’d relish in the moment of victory for hot second before we decided we wanted Daddy to chase us some more. I would be always sent by my oh so loving older sisters to wake you up (by jumping over your legs if anyone was wondering).
This is one of my favorite memories.
Moments of laughter and joy, being a kid with my protecting, fun Daddy.
You’re my Daddy but you’re also my father. And a dang good one who has taught me a lot about a lot of things.
You taught me what a godly man looks like. You taught me (kinda) about money. You taught me about hard work. You taught me to stand up for what I believe in. You taught me to believe. You taught me to be my own person, not a clone of the world or a puppet. You taught me to think, solve, question. You taught me discipline and courage. You taught me about the importance of the gospel and prayer. You taught me how to be serious and how to communicate. You taught me to have fun and laugh.
You taught me how to be a loving, childlike, godly lady.
You taught me to be a lion.
My life is made up of lessons that came from you. Either by your words or your actions. You taught me what to do… And what not to do. You weren’t afraid to be imperfect. You weren’t afraid to apologize. And you weren’t afraid to be afraid.
You gave me strength and I am strong.
You are my rock.
My protector. My wisdom. My humor. My failings. My successes.
You are my lion.
It’s my choice to be happy or miserable in situations. What I talk about fuels how I’m feeling.
I listen. I learn. I communicate. I cry and calm down. I love and laugh and am filled with joy. Thank you.
Thank you for being there when I need someone. Thank you for telling me I’m wrong. Thank you for being wrong. Thank you for holding me and loving me when I’m unlovable.
You are a manly man who is not afraid to cry, show emotions and stress the importance of intimacy.
You showed me what intimacy looks like.
I’m growing up, graduating college, becoming an aunt and a (semi/not so) productive member of society. I’m learning the hard lessons of life you only learn by making mistakes. I’m wondering what it would look like to be in a marriage. I’m finding a new home.
I’m an adult. But I will always be your baby girl and you will always be my daddy.
You will always be my home.
Your baby girl.
(Also you’re favorite. Suck it Haley and Meg.)