I spent two days deciding how I would start this post, and I decided "thank you" was the only option. I believe every person who has ever met you would whole heartedly agree.
Of course as I sit on my couch typing this, your unsealed, unstamped Father's Day card sits on my dresser. Follow-through is not always my strong suit, a trait I certainly didn't inherit from you (or mom, to be honest). Thank goodness for the world wide web and your gracious heart. It's one of the many things I love about you. You also happen to be hilarious, generous, adventurous, selfless, and kind, always putting others before yourself. I have personal proof of the latter, with the countless drives you've made to Midway airport so I wouldn't need to wait more than 10 minutes for a ride. I've never once, in my entire existence, wondered if you'd stop walking by my side.
You've demonstrated how a husband can lead and love his family well. I'm so grateful for your unwavering commitment to choose to love mom every single day of your life, even if it's not always perfect. As I witness the majority of my friends get married, I know I can turn to my parents for a realistic and sweet example of what marriage can be.
I thought I would list my favorite memories with you in my 26 years of life. It's a tall order to fill, but to be honest, the memories came flooding in as soon as I started writing. That's the nature of our relationship-- one that is filled with so much fun and sweetness. I'm not blind to what a gigantic gift it is to have a relationship with my earthly Father.
My adventure buddy-- I remember telling a few of my friends you and me were heading to Charleston in 2016 for a dad/daughter trip. I could be wrong, but I think it's fairly rare for this to happen in my current season of life. Looking back, I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other way. And let's not forget the almost 2000 mile drive from home to Los Angeles, CA in 2012. We played John Mayer's newly released album to nauseam. It's a miracle in the making we not only didn't kill one another during the trip, but enjoyed the time together. I never need a plan when I'm traveling with you, which is the most refreshing thing. I'm not sure you remember, but one of my fondest memories with you while in California was driving down to Redondo Beach late at night as you told me about your past life with mom in the little apartment overlooking the Pacific. You could see the shadow of the moon against the dark blue water, tiny twinkle lights doused along the bluff sitting high above. It was one of my favorite nights with you.
Photography assistant-- The photo above was taken a few weeks back when we walked the streets of Chicago early on a Saturday morning. The city was almost eerily quiet as you pointed out lines and angles to shoot with the Canon flopped around my neck. I'm glad I inherited my love of creating art from you because, boy, is it fun. Remember when we woke up early in Door County a few years back and took pictures of the apple orchards at Horseshoe? Or when we walked the streets of Charleston, taking photos of the neatly lined, brightly colored homes juxtaposed against the bumpy brick streets?
My number #1 fan-- The countless club soccer games in the unbearable summer heat, knowing you wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Long chats after frustrating high school basketball games (which as we know, was 90% of them). Driving 9 hours to attend my award ceremony after the summer at Vanderbilt. Sitting in the stands at almost every college basketball game of mine. Helping me in my five moves over four years time here in Nashville. Massages on tired, sore muscles after long days of practice. Calling me on your way home from a long week of work to ask about my weekend plans.
So to my favorite adventure buddy, photography assistant, and number #1 fan-- I love you. Thank you for consistently showing me a glimmer of the love my heavenly Father has for me. Thank you for being you.
I hope you have the best day, dad! You deserve no less.
Happy Father's Day.
p.s. Check your email (lol)