My dad and I have been through a lot together in the past several years. I've been a daddy's girl for as long as I can remember. Always curling up with him on the couch during Cowboy games and going on Daddy Daughter Date Nights at DFC in Colorado.
At the end of high school and the beginning of college he and I hit a rough patch. We are a lot alike and therefore butted heads quite a bit. I was bitter about a lot of things and ignorantly resented him for some things our family had been going through. It took me a long time to find the strength and humbleness to forgive and move on. We had many "Come to Jesus" talks over the past couple of years but this year has been incredibly different.
I'm not sure if it was the wedding, me leaving home, or just an overall newness of understanding but something changed in both of us this past year. I've never felt closer to my dad. Never felt more loved, appreciated, adored or understood. I feel like, for the first time in my life, my dad has become my best friend.
If you recall in my new year's resolution blog, one of my goals for 2010 was to have more breakfast dates with my dad. I am proud to say that despite our busy schedules we have managed to have a couple. We've been able to relate on such a personal level and I have a new found respect for all of the things my dad has been going through over the past few years. We are so much more alike than I could have ever imagined and for that I smile.
This past Sunday was Father's day. We've shared 24 Father's Days together over my lifetime. Many cards, many ties, books and little papers with drawings of hearts. But this Father's Day was different for me. I'm seeing my dad through different eyes and my level of love and respect for him is out of this world. I continue to pray daily for closeness with my dad and am increasingly grateful for his presence in our lives.
His gift this year was simple... It was a framed picture of the two of us. This picture represents a newness in our relationship. The moment he let me go as his daughter and picked me back up as his friend. The emotion in this photo is raw and deep. I had pictured this moment my entire life, all of the dreaming and the hopes didn't add up to how incredible it actually was. This picture shows his adoration and love for me and my deep respect and love for him. As he has always said, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
I love you deeply, Daddy. I thank God for choosing you to be my Dad.