I remember being little and having a hard time sleeping. He would come in and "paint my face" which meant tracing ever so lightly over my facial features and relaxing me. He would also lay next to me and pretend to fall asleep, which I didn't know was pretend until very recently... hoping that if he showed me how to be calm, I would catch on and be able to sleep as well.
I remember him reading books to me and Dave, using "voices" like we always begged him to. He would read us Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys, Redwall, anything we wanted as we laid on David's bed listening to him.
I remember him taking me to all my piano competitions, and when I got so nervous I wanted to throw up and was shaking he would be there to reassure me and calm me down.
I remember screaming at him while I was running a cross country race and he was cheering me on... he would say "Go Mandy! Keep running!" and I would get so mad because running cross country hurts and CLEARLY he had no idea how hard it was to just keep running. (Cut to my father participating in countless 5Ks and even a triathlon or 2!)
I remember laying on his bed while trying to figure out what to do when I got pregnant, and having him say quietly "...I would keep him. I would know it was going to be hard, but I would look at our loving family and know I had support and I would keep him."
I remember him sticking by me through all of my craziness, coming to get me out of jail and rehab, being there for me even as he was so desperately furious with me.
I remember him being there for me through this last year as I fought with anxiety, talking me through anxiety attacks at 5am and helping me get through it all, even picking me up and driving me places when I was convinced that I couldn't leave the house that day.
My father has been there for me for everything in my life. He has sacrificed so much of his life for me, starting when I was small and he would drive me to rehearsals for musicals. Practice was EVERY night, and he would take me every night and even stick around to help build the sets. He has been at every important concert, performance, test, and life event. He gave up a lot of his own life to help me raise my son, and is committed to making my son's life as great as he can. He has been on my side even when I wasn't on my own side. I can never explain how grateful I am that I have a man like him in my life, and never express how much I love him.
Thanks so much Daddy for being amazing!