I probably don’t say it nearly enough.  But I love you.
You showed me what it was to be strong, courageous, and loving.
You instilled in me a love for our rich American history, simple living, and unwavering faith.
You taught me how to ride a bike, how to change a tire (though I could probably use a refresher course), and how to make your famous raisin cookies. 
You tried to teach me to take care of plants, flowers, and things that grow in the dirt, but… let’s move on…
You were a fountain of wisdom, even when I didn’t listen.  You still are.  I’d like to think I listen better now.
You demonstrated the importance of being a lifelong learner, always encouraging me to study, and memorize, and soak things in. 
You taught me to pray when things good.  And to pray when things were bad.  And to be thankful for all things at all times.  
You showed me how to be a giver.  Holding nothing back.  Making sacrifices.  And I watched as God blessed our family beyond all earthly reason.
You showed me how to set priorities, standards, and boundaries for life. 
You told me it was okay to make mistakes, okay to be wrong, and okay to fail once in awhile.
You taught me to be adventurous.  Like the time you had an awesome idea for Mom’s birthday cake.  You made it from scratch yourself (who needs a recipe?) and it was so heavy with all that fruit that it wouldn’t stand up on it’s own.  I still remember propping that thing up with toothpicks and dowels to make it presentable for her.  One of my favorite memories.  Best.  Cake.  Ever.
You showed me how to be spontaneous and enjoy life, embarking on a week-long camping trip at a moment’s notice, jumping into the family van to run to the ice cream shop on a hot day, or setting up a real-life game show in the dining room and giving out real money for prizes (because of this game, I still remember the capital of Virginia). 
You instilled in me a love for coffee.  Waking up to that earthy aroma each morning still brings a sense of security to me… and reminds me of you.
You are an example of everything a dad should be.  And you showed me how to pick out a good one for my own sweet girls.  Most days he reminds me of you.
Thanks, Dad, for everything.
Happy Father’s Day.
Love you.
 “Listen with respect to the father who raised you,
   and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money;
   buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
   wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!
   Make your mother proud!”
Proverbs 23.22-25 (The Message)
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