Valentine's Day is all about celebrating the people you love. Typically it's in a romantic capacity. However, in honor of the holiday, a letter to the man who has loved us, unconditionally, for our entire lives.
You and I have a unique relationship. Some have even dubbed it "movie-like" as it seems to be rare for a father and daughter to be so close. There are many reasons I am grateful to you, but in honor of a day set aside for celebrating love, I wanted to thank you for a few.
For your knowledge. I will never forget the day you dropped me off at college. We were standing outside of my dorm and you said, "I have never been more proud of you. Your future is on this campus, and you have every opportunity to decide what it entails. In four years, that diploma will be your ticket to success. I love you more than you'll ever know." It's been over 10 years since that moment, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Thank you.
For your love. Not just for me, but for my mom, my brother, my friends and my interests. The way you speak about mom and Andrew is with such pride and adoration. I know you will never let anything bad happen to either of them, and they will never want for anything. The way you offered to pay for a friends' college tuition when he couldn't afford it, or when you gave another friend a job after he'd lost his, will never be forgotten. When you shook the hand of the spin instructor who has been there for me through thick and thin and thanked him for all he's done for me, I was moved to tears. Thank you.
For your support. A little over two years ago, we were having dinner together on the east coast, and I told you I had accepted the opportunity to move to Los Angeles. You bought me a beer, told me you were excited for me and we spent the next couple of hours Googling things about LA on your phone. Mom told me the next morning that after dinner, you'd called her and were crying so hard you couldn't form a sentence. You never let me see that, because you have always been adamant about supporting my decisions. Thank you.
For your encouragement. Every single endeavor I've pursued, you've researched, supported and involved yourself with. Whether it was quitting my job, falling in love with SoulCycle, laughing at my jokes or "liking" my Facebook status, you continue to encourage me to live the life that makes me happy. Thank you.
For pushing me. While I may not have acted grateful at the time, I appreciate you insisting I end that unhealthy relationship in college. If I hadn't done so, I would not be happier than I ever thought possible. If I hadn't made that dentist appointment, despite the fact that I was beyond terrified, I probably wouldn't have any teeth. If I never started saving money, my car would have two tires and no oil. Thank you.
For listening to me. As you know, I cry a lot. Like, a lot. And nine out of 10 times, I call you for answers. Every single time, you pick up the phone and let me vent. And every single time, when I'm done you ask, "do you want my advice, or did you just want to talk?" and you appreciate my response, either way. Thank you.
For understanding how I function. This past Christmas when I was at home, I was put in a terrible funk after a bad email from a client. While everyone else was celebrating, listening to music and playing cards, I had to lock myself in the guest room to write a press release. Without a word, you turned down the music, brought me a mimosa and when I was finished and returned to the group, you asked "everything good? When I replied, "I think so," you said, "Okay, let's put your cell phone away."
For all of these things, and so much more -- thank you. I am blessed to have many wonderful men in my life, but none of them will ever compare to you. Happy Valentine's Day, Dad.