Today we celebrated another year of your life. Oh, what a life it has been for you. Although I have only gotten to share the last twenty-two of them with you, I must say that it has been quite the adventure. In fact, up until two and a half years ago, you were the leading man in my life.
When I think about the early years of my life, I am flooded with wonderful memories. I remember the days where you'd leave for work and I'd be sitting on the front porch with a sad look on my face until you finally hollered from the truck "All right, you can come with." Id grab my sweatshirt and run as fast as I could to jump in. You used to buy me and Jay an orange soda and a candy bar to split. We'd get so excited waiting outside the cheese house (gas station) waiting to see what sort of treat you'd bring us. Then we'd spend hours watching you work on trucks and cars and machinery. My favorite memory at your shop was when you asked Jay and me to move the car batteries from one pile to another. We were so excited to help. Some battery acid spilled on to my pants, and ate away a big hole. Soon there wasn't much left. (I was okay don't worry!) You gave me a pair of your big old work overalls. I thought I was so cool wearing those big old dirty things. I wanted to be just like you.
As I got older I still remember loving you just as much. I loved talking with you in the car, and telling you all about my day. I loved that you listened and smiled at all my stories. I loved singing with you to every country song on the radio. I loved praying with you at bed time and singing "I dreamed I went to Heaven." almost every night. You were the dad any girl would be lucky to have. I was so proud that I was your little girl. I always felt so safe
Then the worst moment of my life, you were one of my rocks. My strength. You held me and told me you loved me. You simply said "You'll be okay baby. We'll get through this." I expected that you would be mad. I thought you would want to kill him, I'm sure you did, but you concentrated on me. That's exactly what I needed. I needed you to hold me, and make me feel safe again.. just like I did as a little girl.
As I grew into an adult, one of the biggest moments in my life was finding out I was pregnant. Most girls would be terrified to tell there dads that they were unmarried and pregnant at 19. Even though I called you a little nervous, I was never worried that you wouldn't love me. In fact your very words were "I always wanted another grandbaby." I promise you those words comforted me more then you'll know. I guess you just have a way of knowing what I need to hear, at the moment I need to hear it. Thank you for that.
When the big day arrived, you were right there to celebrate with me. It was such a blessing to have you there for Aidyn birth. Even if you had to drive home in a snow storm! I know Aidyn will cherish the photo of you and him forever. :) He sure loves his pepaw!
A few years after, when I needed you again, you were right there to help. Offering up your home as a sanctuary when I truly needed it. It is here that I found happiness again. I found the strength to move on. I found strength in myself. Thank you for all that you've done. I hope you know that I DO NOT take anything you have done for me for granted. I know that I would not be as strong or happy as I am today without your help. The fact that you believe in me, is the best support anyone could give me.
You have been a constant in my life, and for that I will always love you. You deserves so much happiness, and I am so happy that we've gotten to spend the last year here. I love that Aidyn knows his "Pepaw." I love that he has wonderful memories with you, and that he'll forever have a relationship with you. I love that I have gotten to cuddle up to you on the couch, and that I have got to see you be happy. I know we wont be here much longer, but just know that no matter where I go, I will forever and always be "Your little girl." In fact.. I have been, ever since I was just a little "Wiggle in your eye!"
You are a man of honor. My man of honor. So here's to you daddy! Happy Birthday with many-many more to come!
I love you,