As of right now, I have talked to my dad, posted a cheesy social media post and have done my daughterly duty. But for some reason, I feel like that isn’t enough this year. So I’m writing this open ended letter to my first superhero, my dad.
He will probably never see this nor do I care if he does to be honest, but I have to write it. Because it’s what’s on my heart and mind.
23 years ago, you became a dad for the second time. The first time you weren’t there for because you didn’t know my big brother existed until he was 7, but that’s a story for another day. But 23 years ago, you got a daughter, and I wish I could say I’ve talked to you about your thoughts about me and your hopes and dreams that you wished for me as you held me in your arms, but I’ve never asked, and even though I write these wishes down, I don’t think I ever will.
But I do know that you promised to protect her and love her no matter what. And you’ve been doing it ever since, but this past weekend, I don’t think I realized how much.
The past four days have probably topped the scariest moments in my life. In fact as I type this, I still am experiencing the scary moments. I woke up with an allergic reaction to one of my antibiotics on Thursday morning and have still been experiencing it-itchy skin, everywhere, is no fun whatsoever. But it was Friday morning that really made me scared. I was in so much pain, it physically hurt to walk, my fingers were cramped, the rash was ugly, I was sick all night, and I called you, my dad, to get the information for our doctor because I simply couldn’t do it anymore.
You didn’t answer the first time, but I can’t blame you because you do have to get four kids up and going as well as your wife, but you immediately called back, answered my questions, calmed me down and told me to keep you updated. So I did. I called the doctor, set up the appointment and called you back.
At first, you couldn’t take me, even though I wanted you to so bad. I was so scared, and at that moment, I had reverted back to my little girl self who just wanted her daddy. So I womaned up and resigned to take myself. Then it got to one o’clock, an hour before my appointment and suddenly I wanted my dad again, so I called, you answered and I begged. I’ve never begged you for anything as I got older, so maybe that’s what caught your attention. You still said you couldn’t though because you had two of the little ones. So we had a spat, and I hung up, drying my eyes, giving myself a pep talk that consisted of “You’ll be fine. You’re an adult. You can take care of yourself.”
You called back though and as much as I wanted to say “forget it, I can take care of myself,” I couldn’t, and you noticed because you told me you would be right there to take me. So bringing along my little sister and brother, you picked me up, calmed me down and dropped me off at the doctor’s office.
I can’t blame you for not coming in though. I know how crazy my little siblings are and they would be running wild in the office, so you went and got haircuts and waited. The doctor’s office wasn’t scary for me. That much I was fine with because this is the same doctor that I had been seeing since I was a baby. I knew him and he was family in a way. I can remember watching his sons play soccer and I’m pretty sure he’s seen me play as a kid. If there was one person I could trust to figure out what was going on, it was him.
Fast forward and you came and got me and took me home, making sure I knew I could always call you. Saturday came and I was once again calling you crying because there was blood and I was scared. Somehow you calmed me down, asked a couple of questions (are you sure you didn’t want to be a doctor?), gave me instructions to keep an eye on it, drink plenty of fluids and to call if anything changed. Even on your way to work, probably the only quiet moment you had to yourself all day, you called to check up on me. You wanted to make sure I was okay, even when there was so many other things happening.
Sunday, today, Father’s Day. It’s supposed to be about you. I called and wished you a happy fathers day, and you still managed to ask how I was doing and made sure to check up on me, asked if I had been taking Benadryl and drinking cranberry juice. Even three hours later, when I called you crying because something didn’t feel right in my body, you calmed me down and made sure I was drinking enough fluids. You also explained that the steroids have to run through my system and that it might take a little time.
And I know if I call you again in three hours about another problem, you’ll answer. Because I might be 23, but that doesn’t mean I am not your little girl still. The one you taught to shoot (and I don’t mean basketball), to ride a bike, to change a tire and to check the oil in my car, to play soccer, to always stand up for myself and the little people, to do things even if I’m scared, to always act a little silly no matter what, and to never be afraid of being myself.
So thank you for being my dad, for the superhero that doesn’t need a cape or a man cave. For being there for me this weekend and every day before. I’m sorry I didn’t realize how much until now. Thank you for teaching me my heritage, for being my rock and sometimes my guide. I know I probably won’t thank you enough in the coming years, but know that every minute you’re teaching me, for everything you have taught me and for things you have yet to teach me, I am thanking you for.
Happy Father’s Day Dad
"If it scares you, it might be a good thing..."