A few years ago I was seeing a counsellor who asked me about you. After a few minutes he looked at me and said, "Well, you're never going to get married. Your dad ruined you because you'll never find a man as amazing as your father."
That wasn't really what I wanted to hear, but he's right that you're a really special dad and I'm so thankful for you.
I loved our Saturday morning breakfast dates at McDonald's, just the two of us. I still can't believe you coached my soccer team when you were the father of the worst player on it, but you encouraged me and made me feel like I was actually decent (I don't really know how I believed that considering in all those years I never once scored a goal).
Thanks for putting up the bookshelves in my room with me. That was a really fun project/birthday present and I was so excited to spend time with you, and also use power tools. Except I don't think you let me use them, just hold the wood, haha. Which probably just goes to show your wisdom. And also your patience with me.
Thanks for encouraging my love of reading and of learning. I loved going to the ROM or Science Centre or Casa Loma as a kid (let's face it, I'd still love them today) and learning about all sorts of things. Thanks for taking turns with mom reading out loud to us after dinner. That was always my favourite time of the day.
I know you've taught me a hundred times when to say "bring" and when to say "take" but I still say it wrong sometimes. But although that lesson may not have sunk in as much as you would have liked, another one did. I can still hear your voice admonishing me to "think before you speak, Meghan." I never was good at that, a little too on the impulsive side, but I have tried to take it to heart and consider the impact of my words before verbalising them. I think that has helped me in becoming a counsellor as well. You are a wise man. People listen when you speak because they know that what you have to say is worth listening to. I admire this in you, and hope to live up to it as well.
Thanks for giving us special treats. We always knew you had a bit of a softer spot than mom for letting us eat cookies instead of carrot sticks or something. But it was great, because it made those things a little more special. Even last summer when you and I picked up the kayaks, you got us hot chocolate and chips for our ride home. Good thing mom wasn't there to object, haha.
I have always looked forward to seeing you. I remember racing to be the first to see you when you got home from work every night. I always knew I could get a quick hug before running back to the dinner table. And I don't think I ever understood how hard you worked for us. But I thank you so much for all the sacrifices you made for us, to make our lives a little easier.
I never realized how stressful and scary it must have been when we moved to Owen Sound and you had to support our family with very little support around for you. But I'm so glad you followed God's leading, and I'm so glad to have grown up in such a wonderful town. Thanks for setting such a great example of a man who follows after God's heart, even when it doesn't always make sense or it's hard or scary.
Because you are so steady, I always know I can turn to you. Even if you shake your head at me because I am ridiculous, you are always there. Thank you.
Daddy, I love you!