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Father's Day Ode to the Man Who Always Put Me First

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I always lived away from my father. I say "always" because in 22 years of existence, I don't remember of being with my father at home for a full single year.

A little background here: My parents got married just after I was born and since their wedding, my father has had different kinds of jobs so he was able to support me, my mother and my brother.
He was always traveling, living and working away from home three or four months in a row, making us always look for a paternal figure in my grandfather.

He was always the most tender man whenever we lived apart, and now, while I am living in London, away from my entire family, I see that more than ever. He has never failed us with anything, and God knows, what he has suffered because of that. He never missed a birthday, a Christmas, a New Year's Eve or a parade while I was playing, as long as he was in Portugal. He never forgot to call on special occasions, especially when he was out of work and had to miss one of those celebrations. He never cares how much money he is spending for a phone call while I talk away my problems.

Although my parents never had a good marriage (for the 16 years that they were together) and he was never a good husband (according to my mom), he's been an excellent father. I've never thanked him for all the things that he did and still does for me, but I think that that isn't something to do over the phone. It's something for me to do when I get to see him again.

But right now, right here, I want to thank you, Daddy. I want to let it be known: Thank you for everything. Thank you for all the sleepless nights, cuddling me when I was sick and all the times you stopped me from crying during a nightmare. Thank you for being my safe haven when I had nowhere else to go. Thank you for allowing me to realize my dreams and being so proud of me. But especially, thank you for being the Father whom my brother and I are so proud of. We love you.

With love,
Your daughter
"Don't ever forget who you are where you belong. Spread your wings and then come home to tell me all about it." - My Father
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