A girls father is one of the most important role models she'll ever have. My father has truly influenced every moment, every decision and every stage in my life. He is eternally optimistic, loving, accepting and calm.
I always joke because my father's Facebook posts get more interaction than any brand page I've ever seen. But it's because he has touched so many people's lives. Growing up, I have memories of my father cooking us pizza. "Mario's specialty pizza," he would call it. I can just see him in an apron, cooking in the kitchen and setting the table. My mother sometimes worked late in the early years, so dad would pick us up from school. The point in me telling you all this is that both of my parents were equally a part of my life. My mother didn't do most of the heavy lifting and neither did my father; it was truly split down the middle between them. I look back now and am so appreciative of seeing that throughout my younger years. It has impacted me in how I will build a life with my partner someday.
My father always encouraged me to go after the impossible, to not live a conventional life. His subtle messages made all the difference. He never questioned my decisions, he always gave me his honest opinion but trusted me to make the best choice for me in the end. He is a visionary and this is where I get that from. He's always looking ahead, to innovate and how to make it better. I owe this to him.
He's lived with 5 women: my mother, sister, me and our two cats! He always embraced our power and never discouraged us to take on new challenges. The narrative he used in lessons taught was always embracing us as women. He always let us know we could do anything we wanted.
But perhaps the biggest gift my father has ever given me is that he loves my mother. He has never pretended to be perfect and has made mistakes as we all do. But he always owned up to them and never denied their impact. He always strives to be better and has an incredibly forgiving and loving heart.
I hope I can give my children a father one day like mine. I know now that this is the greatest gift I could ever give them – to love their father unconditionally through the good and bad.
I love you daddy. Thank you.