I think about you every day. I think of how you were a police detective for 35 years and I never heard one story about your days on the beat.
I think of all the times you helped me with my homework. You did this every night. No matter the overtime or the long hours, you always made sure to come home to do homework with me. It even got to a point where I knew all the answers but you insisted we go over it together anyway. You always made sure to read to me and let me escape into those books with you.
You were the first male girl scout leader and the best one at that! You were involved in everything I ever did. From the moment you taught me to ride a bike, to the moment I had my first heartache, there you were. My superhero. Saving the day for his first-born.
You always made sure to shelter me from the world you saw every day. And to this day, I wonder, what world did you see? I thought I would be a police officer like you one day but you said absolutely not. You wished a better future for me. You went as far as building a small but powerful empire for our family.
You have never liked photos, recognition or even gifts. You tell my sister and me to just save up our money. I don’t get why you won’t let others give back, but I hope this letter is a step in the right direction.
Dad, you were the first man I ever loved.
You always held me close to your heart and you still do. You still ask me, “When are you moving back home?” Even though it’s been a decade since I left. I feel your love in the beautiful new house you helped me find.
You caught all these bad guys. You were, and are, a force to reckon with. But when it comes to your daughters, I know you melt. As do we for you. Your unconditional love drives me every single day. By example you have shown me to be strong, loving, caring, selfless, dedicated, consistent, loyal, dignified, respectful, smart, strategic, and so much more.
I guess the most powerful lesson you have taught me is to always stay on my “mission” and never give up. I have never given up on anything because I hear your voice in my heart. Your strength makes me stronger every single day.
I know you always wanted a son but you got me instead. I think it turned out better this way. You made me more of a boy than a girl. You taught me to have thick skin and to always hold my head up high. You taught me to take responsibility for all of my actions. You never laid a hand on me and that taught me to never let a man disrespect me. And while I did get lost for a minute, I quickly found myself with your help.
You have always saved me but I am starting to learn to save myself.
Although I wish you could live forever, I know that is simply not possible. I don’t want to think of that right now, but I do want to ask you to please take care of your health. I don’t want to be sad for many years to come so please stay with us as long as you possibly can. We need you. My mom, sister and I need you more than we need anybody else. You are our strength, our guidepost, our protector.
You taught me what to look for in a future husband and I have gotten pretty close. I have you to thank you for that. I have you to thank you for all the happiness and love in my heart. Who knew a police detective could be full of so much love?
Dad, you have made me more resilient than I ever thought I could be. I have pushed myself to my limits because you have taught me that I can do and be anything I want to be. You have taught me hard work pays off and I will keep working until I see the payoff, I promise.
Above all, you have always been my greatest supporter.
I have never felt alone. I have never thought giving up is an option. I try my best to show you how independent I can be, but in the end, I will always be your little girl. No matter where you are, I feel your spirit and life lessons guiding everything I do.
Thank you, Detective, for being the most present dad in all of the land. Thank you for giving us everything you possibly can. We love you more than we love ourselves.