Unfortunately I do not get to deliver a hand written letter or card to honor you today on Father’s Day. I don’t get to make you breakfast in bed. I don’t get to go to a movie with you, and then take you out to dinner. I don’t get to buy you socks. Or boxers. Or a new tie. Or any of that other “stuff” that many people take for granted on Father’s Day. But maybe, just maybe, sending a little message through the Internet will reach you somehow, someway.
I lost you way too early in my life. I still haven’t gotten over it. I miss you every second of every minute of every hour of every day, and I will never get over it. Thank goodness you instilled in me a sense of strength, otherwise my path in life may have gone in a completely different direction once I lost you. But instead, I became stronger, wiser, and more appreciative of the days I get to live and realize more in this world.
These past years have been spent working hard to build a solid career and one that I love pouring my energy into every day. It was a bumpy road at times, but the hard work and sleepless nights paid off ten fold. Even though I never once thought that I would be teaching and overseeing an entire program at the university level, it has opened me up to new perspectives and challenges that make me a better person.
I started running because of you and have developed a relationship with health and fitness that was once hindered by self-consciousness and doubt. I continue to grow mentally and physically stronger taking on new challenges and working hard to be the greatest version of myself. I love stretching my mind and body only to discover that I’m a lot tougher than I once believed and have even greater potential to reach for.
You are always with me during my happy time. When I am training, whether it be running the trails of Bend, swimming the laps of a pool, or biking the open roads that weave through farmland and/or mountains, I think of you and feel your presence in my heart. Just last week, on our way to Ironman 70.3 Boise, I felt your presence as we drove through Juntura and I was reminded of the bird hunting trips you let me tag along for. You taught me to do things at a young age that I didn’t realize how much I would grow to love and appreciate until now. Thank you for physical strength and instilling the courage to strive for more.
You would be best friends with Justin. It’s tough to accept that you will never have the chance to meet one another here on Earth, but I have no doubt that you would have loved him. He is an amazing husband and best friend. I know growing up that you doubted some of my relationship choices, justifiably so, but I can assure you that Justin would make the perfect son-in-law. I am in good hands and you will never have to worry.
Mom has been amazing. She could never take your place, but has been there for me through thick and thin. My relationship with her is truly unique and special. I try to do my best to keep in touch with family, but life always seems to be busy and I know I can do a better job. Knowing that I am the one piece of you that remains makes it extra important for me to connect to all those who are and were important to you. You will always live on in me and I will always strive to make you proud.
I miss you so much, daddy. I always think about what it would be like to go fishing again, floating down the cool drift of the John Day River, or to see your face waiting for me as I cross the finish line of one of my races, or to BBQ and enjoy a beer after a day of adventures, cause let’s face it – every day with you was an adventure. If I could just have one more day…
Thank you for being the best dad a girl could have asked for and for continuing to impact my life as I make decisions and tackle new feats each day. You are always with me. I will never fully understand how someone as remarkable and healthy as you could have been taken from this world, but I guess some things are best left unknown. Lucky Heaven.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.