Yesterday, while walking through the grocery store, I heard our song. The song you sang at my wedding reception.
The unbidden tears clouded my eyes as I remembered your voice, so full of emotion, singing the words–
But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she’d find you someday
But it still hard to give her away
I loved her first
Memories started flowing.
I remembered when I left home for school. My youth leaders had made a cd celebrating my youth. We watched it together and cried. You never were afraid to cry during sentimental moments.
I remembered running errands with you while living in Idaho. It was our one chance to really talk. You listened as I expressed concerns. You showed me that my ideas were important.
I remembered holding your hand–and laughing–when you accompanied me on field trips during elementary school. You were the cool Dad that everyone wanted to be with. I felt so special.
I remembered how excited you were when each of my siblings were born. I observed as you tenderly held them for the first time and knew I wanted a husband who did just that. I knew your love increased with each additional child.
I remembered how you taught me important lessons on sacrifice, compassion, and charity as you faithfully home taught your assigned families, served in your various callings, and worked hard to support our large family.
Your tears on my wedding day were bittersweet. I had chosen an honorable man whom you respected, but I was leaving home. For good.
But, Dad, you taught me well. Those values you pushed so hard on me, stuck. I believe I became the woman you hoped I would become.
Thank you, Dad, for believing in me. I know this message is overdue, but happy belated birthday and happy Father’s Day.