Friday, July 10, 2015

Thanks for Raising a Lady, Dad

Dear Dad,

I can't believe you passed away 6 years ago tomorrow. I still think about you often and know that you're looking out for me from wherever you are. I smelled your cologne in my room earlier today after returning from the kitchen when I made myself breakfast. It's somewhat comforting because it makes me feel like you're still here for me when thought you won't ever be physically here for me again. Something that mom said earlier today made me even more grateful to have had you as a father... you taught me to be a lady.

Mom told me how you chose to work at night so that she could be here with me at night. She told (and showed me pictures) of how you used to make sure I was always well dressed, well fed, and clean. "By the time I came home, your dad had all the bottles washed, you were (bottle) fed, you were clean, and I had little to do." Furthermore, she told me that you made sure I grew up knowing that I was a lady and that I should behave like one.

We saw a cute baby girl running in her front yard in just her diaper on our way home today. It was cute and innocent but mom automatically said "your father would've never allowed that." She told me how you always had me dressed in my little dresses, tights, and hairdos she could never get the hang of. Despite there being nothing wrong with babies in only diapers during the summertime, I was surprised to hear that he only allowed it at home because you wanted me to me to be respected... even when I was a child.

I know some people will groan at what I've written. If I hear a "Oh, your father was controlling and he... *insert feminist rant*" it won't bother me because I appreciate the fact that you taught me about modesty and how to carry myself with dignity from birth. To this day, I don't like showing too much skin. I never did... and it's because you taught me that I was more than my looks and my body. It's not because you wanted me to be in date-less exile (in fact, I still remember that one of the last things you said to me was that you trusted me to make the right decisions when it came to my relationships), it was because you knew that I deserved to be treated with respect.

I'm in tears as I write this because I never realized how much you continue to influence me (in a positive way) so many years after you passed. July 11, 2009 at 10:15 a.m. you took your last breath at the same hospital where I was born and I cried tears of sorrow. July 10, 2015 at 5:38 p.m., I cry tears of joy and gratitude for the privilege of calling you my father. Thank you, daddy, for everything.

Your little girl,

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