(one from the archives...look how little Laurel is!!)
I was lame this week and didn't get a card or a gift out to you. Sorry- thought I would just write you a letter instead. There are things that I don't tell you often enough because (for some silly reason) I find them hard to say- on the phone, or to your face. I'm better at doing it this way. I know you won't mind. In fact, I'm sure that you'll tell me that this is what you'd prefer anyways. Thanks for taking me just as I am, always allowing me to be just that. Me. You've always challenged me to be more and wanted the best/most for me...without holding me to some unattainable expectation. I'm sure there are many things that I never would've achieved without your knowing smile, and gentle shoving :)
The more of life that I experience, the more I appreciate you. It takes guts to be a parent. It takes patience, and commitment, and presence. Thank you for talking to me about difficult things, and saying "no" when I didn't want to hear it, and even for standing back and letting me make some mistakes. Thank you for staying the course with me and loving me when I didn't make it easy. Thank you for choosing to be as present as you were able even when life was heart-wretchingly difficult. Thank you for never, never checking out on us.
As an adult, I appreciate your friendship. Thank you for calling nearly every day. Thank you for loving my kids and encouraging me as their mom. Thank you for embracing Carl and considering him one of your own. Thank you for pointing me back in his direction when I've wrongly come to you instead. Thank you for being youthful. Thank you for taking care of yourself. Thank you for working so hard, providing for us even now... taking us to dinner, going all out at Christmas, never forgetting a birthday.
There is so much to love about you. I love you for your frayed-sleeve Harley Davidson shirt, hanging next to your 58 different ties, in your closet full of dress shoes. I love your hugs. I love you for the way you still hold my hand. I love you for learning to play the guitar and teaching us about old dogs and new tricks. I love the way you like fried eggs on your hamburgers.
I wish I could be with you today. I'd bring you sugar cookies, we could go for a hike, or you could take me for a ride on your motorcycle. I hope you enjoy your day anyways. Happy Father's Day.