I haven't always been a daddy's girl. In fact, there were a few years there in my late teens/early twenties when I thought my dad and I would forever have a strained relationship. Maybe it's because we're both so stubborn and set in our ways that we never really tried to understand each other. Then one day—quite out of the blue—I realized I was what needed to change about my relationship with my father.
So here we are, ten years later and 700 miles apart, and I'm closer to my dad than ever. I thought about him often this week. Practically everything I did came as a direct result of something my father taught me to love. I work in Washington, DC, because my father knows the importance of being politically active; even the field I work in is directly related to my father's work. Every time I downloaded a new song on my mp3 player, I thought about sharing it with my dad because he's a musician and music lover. I watched old Star Trek (Deep Space Nine and Voyager) episodes because I grew to love the series when my dad watched The Next Generation with us. As I listened to baseball games (both Nationals and White Sox), I thought of the games my dad took us to and how we used to complain whenever he'd steal the remote on Saturday afternoons and turn on a game. Each time I opened up an assignment for grad school, I thought of how proud my dad is that I'm getting an advanced degree because he never had the chance to finish college.
Then last night, my thoughts turned sad when my dad posted on Facebook about how much he missed his own father. My grandfather passed away many years before I was born, when my father was still in high school. My father's gone about 40 years without his father there to ask career advice, to watch a baseball game, to chat about the day. It made me think about how lucky I am to be able to miss my dad and then pick up the phone and hear his voice. How blessed I am to have had 30 years, more than 11,000 days, to have my father there for me.
I know this is a really sappy, but it's Fathers' Day after all. So even though there were a few years in there I'm sure I didn't say it often enough and miles prevent me from saying it in person, I love you, Dad. I always have, and I always will.