He has always been willing to sacrifice to make our lives better, whether that be driving long distances to work every day so that he can provide for us or spending hours at the softball field on weekends to watch his little girl play. He has taught me so many things that I will teach Alden: how to build a campfire, how to stake a tent, how to identify an oak tree (among many others), how to play the stoplight game (when I was little, I was convinced I could magically change the stoplights to green by blowing on them...all because my Dad had great timing and a little bit of extra knowledge up his sleeve), how to check tire pressure, how to properly load a dishwasher (sorry Nick, your way just doesn't cut it ;) and so many other little (and big) things that I'll remember forever.
Then, there are all of the things he's taught me without knowing it: integrity, fighting for what you want, how to respect nature and the importance of our natural world, the ability to live on what you have even if what you have isn't very much, how to be firm without being loud, respect, and how to show people you care even if you don't always say the words. These things aren't just lessons that he passed down, they have become a part of who I am.
I am so grateful for all you have done for me and for all of the support you have given to me. No matter how old I am, I'll always be your little girl :)
I am really looking forward to watching Alden get to know you and see all that he learns from you. I know that he'll love the story about the time you lost your radio in the river when you were fishing just as much as I do. And I know he'll think it's crazy that you still remember the song that was playing as it sank under the water (because that amazes me too :) I'm sure he's going to think that you know the answer to everything, because even now there are times when I hear myself saying, "I'm sure my Dad would know," when we run across something we're not familiar with. I'm just so happy that Alden has such wonderful men in his life to look up to. He's a lucky little fella :)
I hope I make you proud, Daddy, because I am SO proud to call you my father.
Happy Father's Day! I love you.