A father is the first man to love his daughter and to show her how she should expect be treated by men.

I’ve told you about my mom, brother and daughter, so it’s high time for me to write about my Dad.

I admit it. I was Daddy’s little girl. We could sit in the same room for hours without talking and know what the other was thinking. Just spending time with my Dad was special to me – what we did was irrelevant, I was just happy to be with him.

One of my earliest memories of my Dad was watching him shave.  I would sit, on the edge of the tub, watching him – I was convinced he was the best looking, nicest man in the whole world. I adored him! A man who expressed his love, not so much in words, but in action. I don’t recall him ever saying sorry but I always knew when he was because he’d look my way and say, “c’mon,” with a tilt of his head and off we went to Dunkin Donuts. Ha! I remember him taking my brother and me there for pop when we’d been to the dentist, our mouths numb from the freezing, so he could watch the pop drool out of our mouths as fast as we were sucking it in through the straw. Once I cut my hand (between my middle and ring finger) on a sharp rock while diving into a lake and he doctored me up. Many other times the first aid kit came out and he’d say, “Let Dr. Heinz have a look.” I was afraid of doctors but I trusted my Dad. Many a night when he tucked me in I’d ask him if he would marry me. He always chuckled and said we’d see how I felt when I was older. Every Wednesday when he got paid, I’d find my favourite chocolate bar on the kitchen table where I sat. He did the same for my Mom and brother. He was the first man I ever danced with and when my feet wouldn’t follow, he let me stand on his.

As I got older, Dad would get many calls from me late at night, “Daddy, can you come pick me up?” He always came no matter where I was or what trouble I might have gotten myself into. When it came time for me to learn to drive, he took me out and patiently guided me through my fears. “Look where you want to go.” “Never drive faster than you’re comfortable with, just ignore that guy behind you, if he really needs to go faster, he’ll pass you.” “Speed up as you’re heading into that curve.” When I passed the learner’s test, he took me out for breakfast to celebrate. He hated MacDonald’s but knew I loved it.

When I moved out on my own and was short on cash, he’d loan me money. When I offered to pay him back, he’d always tell me to keep my money. Once I did manage to send him a cheque but he never cashed it. Dad has always been there for me, believing in me and loving me with his actions.

2009 Dad, me and Mom in Ottawa

I learned a lot from Dad. He taught me about loyalty to family. He taught me to be strong. “Never let them see they’ve hurt you. ” He taught me how to protect myself with self-defence. He showed me, by example, the value of working hard. He taught me how to trust but also not to trust everyone. But I think the most valuable lesson he taught me was how I should expect to be treated by men. I am grateful my relationship with my Dad. Thanks Dad!

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