My daddy has championed my cause since day one, supporting and loving me. I'm so thankful to have a father like him. His life hasn't been easy - he's worked his fingers to the bone, with calloused hands to prove it. He's lost both parents and both his siblings, one a few years ago, and one in a tragic car accident when she was only in her 20s. He survived cancer. He just keeps truckin' - a true fighter.
I have so many fun memories with my dad, but I especially love these photos...circa 1982 at Virginia Beach where we always vacationed as a family, where his strong hands would hold me in the water and keep me safe from the waves. And then on my wedding day when he gave me away to the man I would marry...
This past August in New Jersey, I got to have time alone with just my daddy for the first time in a very long time. I took him on a "date" to his favorite restaurant, Charlie Brown's, and then we took a drive through the country with the windows down. I loved seeing his eyes twinkle, hearing his voice light up as he drove me through the countryside, reminiscing about his old haunts from childhood.
In a letter my daddy wrote to me my senior year in high school, he said,
"I knew from the day you were born that you will do something special with your life. I want you to know that I love you very much and am proud to be your father. Just keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine."
And that pretty much sums up the way my dad loves me. Always standing in the wings supporting me, cheering me on. I'm blessed to be the daughter of a man like that.