I learned to appreciate all kinds of music from my dad. I enjoy some of the greatest greats because of him - like The Eagles, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac.
I learned what it was like to be enjoyed. To be the favorite, to be the apple of someone's eye.
I learned that it was more important to know why I believed something than just to say I believed it. He taught me how to study scripture, how to use a concordance, and to ask good questions when it came to the Bible and doctrine.
I learned how to work hard and go the extra mile. To not do things "with a lick and a promise." To give my employer my best because God was watching even if they weren't.
I learned that I should (and I quote) "drive like everyone else on the road is an idiot."
To this day, I still haven't been in an accident.
I learned that music should be listened to at one appropriate volume.
I learned how to be mindful and thoughtful when it came to celebrating holidays. Especially Christmas, Easter and Halloween.
I learned that words can hurt when you don't use them with care and kindness. I learned that some words can never be unspoken and leave a lasting impression on your heart forever.
I've learned that I can speak truth to my dad when I need to. And he will hear me even if he doesn't like or agree with what I've had to say.
I learned that sometimes the people that love you the most can cause you some of the greatest hurt. And sometimes, it takes a very long time to heal. But when the healing finally begins, it's pretty glorious.
I've learned that some of my greatest fears stem from making some of the same mistakes that he did. I've also learned that we are more than our mistakes and his example has shown me that.
I've learned that the sweetest memories of our time together were when he would play guitar and I would sing. Music always connected our hearts together and I hope it always does.
I've learned that people change. We never stay the same.
And in that, there is always hope for more.
I've learned that our relationship as father and daughter has changed. It needed to. And I'm learning that we are still trying to figure out what it should look like.
I've learned that even with the hurt and the confusion and the questions, that I still wouldn't have wanted any other father. God wrote my dad's story into my own, and the impact it has had on my heart is shaping me into the woman I was created to be.
I've learned that it's taken me a few years to come to an honest place where I am truly thankful and grateful for this man. My father. My daddy.
Happy Father's Day Dad.
I love you!