He was the first man to hold my hand.
He was the first man to kiss my forehead.
He was the first man to protect me from harm.
He was the first man to call me Princess.
He was the first man to tell me he loved me.
He taught me to be humble while still having confidence in myself.
He taught me to be coachable instead of defensive.
He taught me to be silly and to laugh, most often, at myself.
He taught me how to catch.
He taught me to include everyone because it doesn’t feel good to be left out.
He taught me that integrity is worth more than money.
He taught me that education can never be taken away from you.
He taught me to parallel park in a Suburban.
He taught me to live for adventure.
He taught me to be relentless.
He told me that one day I would appreciate a cold beer on a hot day.
He told me I was smart, and I shouldn’t let guys take advantage of me.
He told me to follow my dreams whether people said I was crazy or not.
He told me I should respect my elders.
He told me that one day I would be as beautiful as my mother.
He told me that everyday was my masterpiece.
He told me to always remember that family was the most important thing in life.
He gave me the gift of gab.
He gave me a laugh that’s contagious.
He gave me unconditional love even when I was bratty.
He gave me lectures when I wanted to pierce my tongue and get a tattoo.
He gave me shit for loving New Kids on the Block.
He gave me everything I ever asked for and never asked for anything in return.
He would love that I grew up to be a ball-breaker.
He would love that I graduated college like I promised when I told him I was dropping out.
He would love that his nieces and nephews grew up to act like siblings.
He would love that I FINALLY learned how to grill.
He would love busting Garrett’s chops.
He would have walked me down the aisle with pride.
He would have hugged me tightly during the father/daughter dance at my wedding.
He would have been the world’s best grandpa.
He would have been proud of what I’ve accomplished.
He would have high fived my mom over a job well done.
He would have been my biggest cheerleader.
He would have been 56 today.
Happy Birthday Dad.