My dad and I have had a close relationship since I was young, but I didn't even realize it till some time last year that I am a daddy's girl through and through. I'm his only daughter, his first child, and I love him to bits, and I know he loves me right back. He's an amazing friend, and an even more amazing dad. I talk to him about a ton of stuff. I remember it was he that I first talked to when I found out a guy I was seeing when I was 17, was also seeing someone else. He made me laugh when I told him. He told me that cars always have spare tyres for a reason, but I should be careful not to be one. He's always had an amazing sense of humor, and even if I sometimes didn't think what he said was funny, his infectious laughter had me in stitches. (It's hilarious, kinda like a car that won't start!)
I remember waking up early as a child and going to play with him, while he was still trying to catch those morning zzzz'z that are so blissful when you're trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning after a long weeks' work. He would never send me away, at least I don't remember him telling me to leave him alone. He was probably still half asleep but I loved those moments with him. He traveled a lot when I was young as well, and he probably is the reason I first fell in love with music...he bought me my first musical instrument, a professional keyboard, when I was 3.
I spent a lot of time with him at garages and car bazaars in my pre-teen years, before I was tainted by teenage whims of what "should have been cool". It explains my unusual (according to a bunch of my guy friends) interest and mild knowledge (non-expert) about cars. We always had a great time, checking out cars at Concours every year, and talking about topics from cars to fashion and many things in between. He would sometimes ask me for my opinion on whether a certain tie went with his shirt, and it made me feel like such an important factor in his dressing. I remember a day he had this bright idea for a hairstyle, and he tried it on me, and even though I was wincing in pain the whole time he was doing it, I told him how cool I thought it was when he was done. (I didn't think it was but he was so excited about it.)
We once got into a major fight, when I was 13. I remember screaming at him, telling him I wished he wasn't my dad. We didn't speak for a week. And I remember him telling my mum as we were leaving for church, that we should pass by the supermarket so that I could shop for a new dad. Now that I think about it, that comment cracks me up, but I could tell how hurt he was then, and I felt horrible about it. I can't picture my life without him as my dad.
Once in high school, (boarding school) I was punished for returning to school late, when the mid-term weekend came, I wasn't allowed to leave. I remember bawling my eyes out in my room as I watched my friends head out for a long, four day weekend at home. When my dad came for me, I told him why I couldn't leave. He left, and came back an hour later with cake and candy, and a Four In One "Mills and Boon" novel, so that I wouldn't be bored. I smiled all through that weekend. At the thought of my dad trying pick out a novel that he thought I would enjoy.
One Valentine's day, while I was still in High School, I received a package, it was a heart shaped, Black Forest cake, and a bunch of red roses. From my dad. With a message, saying how he and my mum thought they were lucky to have me for a daughter. To date, that has been my favorite, most memorable Valentine's day ever.
On my 18th birthday, I hung out with my dad at a local club. I didn't want to go out that night but my mum insisted. I had been sad all of that day because I had just broken up with my boyfriend at the time, and the day itself had been miserable, despite my folks efforts to make it a memorable one. So my dad and I up and left the house, to my mums delight, and went looking for a place to just talk. The bouncer at Choices wouldn't let me in, despite my dads efforts (and his friends being inside waiting for him) so we settled for K2 (as it was still called). We talked about a lot that night, my life, his life, our family history, and after that, the breakup seemed like just a small bump on the road. I was okay.
My dad has been by me through a lot of things in my life, giving advice, but not being imposing, offering support, even though I changed my mind a thousand times about what career I wanted to pursue. And change my mind I did. He was there through it all, and I never felt the pressure to conform to anything but my own tenets, knowing that my folks would always be there to support me, whatever I decided to do.
I remember seeing my dad in the audience a few times during Project Fame, every time I would catch his eye he would smile. The look on his face as he cheered me on. The troops I found out he rallied during the entire duration of the competition, and the support he gave me. My dad, he really is my hero.
I don't get to see my dad much nowadays, he works far away, and we don't talk much either, but when we do, I'm happy. I pray that he'll be around for many more years to come, to watch me make him proud, to walk me down the isle, to play with my kids, and to continue being the great man that he is. He is a man I pray lives forever.
I love you dad.