To say I love you is one hell of an understatement, Dad. But it’s one that works all of the same.
To be fair, love can mean many things:
It’s all of those dances I stole out at Quihi or all of the family weddings.
It’s that tremendous example you set for your four daughters that inspires me daily to want to give more, learn more and be more.
It’s the coutless hugs you have given away so freely to your girls even when we didn’t know we needed one.
But at the same time, it’s the tough love we so desperately need as we grow in this world.
It’s all of those “teaching” moments, whether we wanted to learn them or not.
It’s sitting around the kitchen table eating breakfast on a Saturday morning shooting the bull back and forth with your family.
Shoot speaking of breakfast, it’s the thoughtfulness that gets you up early enough on weekdays to make breakfast for the whole family before work and school.
It’s that smile you give us when we know you are trying to be nice and hold in a laugh.
It’s the innumerable times you have had 2, 3, even all 4 of us sitting on your lap at one time.
It’s sitting next to you in church and you still put your arm around me even though I’m almost 24.
But to keep it simple, love is all that you have ever given the four of your girls.
Living in a house with four daughters and a wife would seem like a challenge to most of the male population, but when I say you have handled it nicely, I mean it. As frustrated as you may get when one of us would cry after getting in trouble, you would never hold it against us. And for some reason you would actually be surprised when we would cry the next time you would yell at us! But this could also be how we, sisters, have been able to get mad at each other and then 20 minutes later be laughing and goofing off.
I would think raising all daughters has its pros and cons, but I have never heard you talking about “if you had a son.” And you know what? That means a lot to me. Not once in my life did I feel like I wasn’t good enough for you. Although, I know I may have said it in a dramatic moment as a kindergartner as I packed my Lion King suitcase and threatened to “runaway” one or two or three times.
I know I’m speaking for the four of us when I say how much we look up to and love you Dad. We wouldn’t be the strong and determined, yet loving girls we are today without your attention.
You are the goof ball that made me realize that being unique was important. You have a special gift of knowing how to make us want to cry and scream and laugh and smile.
You will always be that voice in my head that argues in favor of balance and responsibility. None of us have to look very far when searching for someone to model after. The love you show us four girls, plus Mom, plus the rest of the family is something that can never be taken away. It’s something that is so intangible, yet means so much.
It’s been incredibly difficult writing this, because I know you have seen right through some of the bullshit I’ve tried to tell you over the years trying to get out of trouble. But believe me Dad, this is no bullshit. This is the cold-hard truth. You have been one hell of a person that we are so proud to call you our Dad. You really are our everything. Between you and Mom, I honestly, don’t go one day without thinking how much I love you all. There is no amount of money, experiences or love I could get from anywhere else that would ever be enough to pull me away from you.
So here’s to you for being “kid rich and cash poor” as you say it. I can’t think of anyone else that would make it look so good!
Alyx, Sydney, Maycee & Kymberlyn