First off, I just want you to know that every day I hope I make you proud. I know I don't always get things right. I make a lot of mistakes. One day I will get it all figured out and even if I don't I know that you will always be a steady-constant in my life. I know that no matter what, no matter when, no matter where, you will always be there. There is nothing that I could ever say or do that would make you stop loving me...definitely mad enough to consider giving me up for adoption but never stop loving me. Remember, you signed a contract.
You and I are probably the exact definition of polar opposites. You are level-headed and logical.....I am well.....not either of those things. You appreciate my flair for the dramatic and allow me to do things my own way. I know that most times you wonder if we reside on the same planet. You have never once discouraged me from being true to myself and following my dreams. You may have not always understood me but you have always supported my choices. Do you remember when I was in graduate school and I wanted to quit weekly (sometimes daily)? Every time I thought I had reached my breaking point, you talked me down. Told me that one day all the hard work would pay off and eventually it did.
You gave me roots and wings-the greatest gift a dad could ever give his daughter.
Speaking of greatest gifts, thank you for loving my mom, for exemplifying what a healthy relationship looks like. You are our provider, our protector, our hero. You set some pretty high standards that most guys fall short of....thanks a heap for that.
You taught me that if something sounded too good to be true that it probably was and that the overall majority of people in this life are assholes but just because someone was an asshole to me didn't necessarily mean I had to be an asshole back. You taught to stand up for what I believe in even if that sometimes meant I will be standing alone and because of have learned what true strength really is.
You taught me at a young age that I have to work for everything that I want, that nothing in this world will ever be handed to me. I bet you don't know this, but one of my favorite things is when I pull into the farm and I see you sitting in the pasture looking at your family's 133 year-old legacy and smiling like you won the damn lottery. No one would ever know in those moments that you've paid for that farm ten times over with your own sweat, your own blood, and your own tears.
You showed me that living a life of honesty and decency is the true success story.
For all you've done, I could never thank you enough.
Love you the most,