"Dear Dad,

 

Looking back on my life, you have taught me many things. You've taught me to respect others and to never put anyone below me. If I don't have anything nice to say, then it's best to keep it to myself. Lastly, you've taught me to be strong, not just physically.

 

There's almost nothing you can't fix and i've witnessed this first hand. Many times I have panicked or been upset over a broken toy, electronic or school project and you were always there to fix it in a heartbeat and no matter how mad I would get in the first place from the unfortunate happenings, you always kept your cool (even if I was a brat).... Thank You.

 

One of my fondest memories were the days of letting me steer your truck from the middle passenger's seat whenever we pulled onto our street to head home. It may not have seemed like a big deal to you, but the smile on my face proved otherwise. You trusted me and for that I say... Thank You.

 

I will say this, when the world becomes difficult and life doesn't seem to go the way I had hoped for, I know that I can always count on you to make things better. We don't always see eye to eye, but through the years and with maturity, I have grown to realize that you've always been right all along. You have experienced life to the fullest and I now understand that you were only trying to steer me in the right direction. For all the times that you have guided me down the right path...

I Thank You.

 

As I grew stronger and became capable of lifting heavier objects, tools and equipment, you also grew weaker with age and started looking to me for help (this made me feel like a man). Regardless, you've always been my superhero... your hands and arms are proof of this. I've witnessed you pull splinters and shards of sheet metal from your bare hands like it was no big deal, then continue to work until the job was finished. To this day, I'll never know if you ever felt the pain and just hid it well to toughen me up, but I've always envied your tolerance. You're strength makes me feel secure, even if I am bigger than you... Thank You.

 

Your life is defined by countless hours of work. You are always working and a majority of the time, it's physical labor, but you do it for our family. You have always put the family first and it says a lot about your character. I never gave up on my dreams and always worked hard in school and at my job, all because of your ideology on how to live life to the fullest. Numerous times you have told me that hard work pays off and as I sit here writing this letter to you, I can only smile. You were right all along Dad... for that I Thank You.

 

Lastly, even though I am no longer living in the same house as you and Mom, it's comforting knowing that you're only a phone call away. Memories of our fishing trips to the pond and working together installing HVAC as a team is only the tip of the ice berg of how grateful I am to be your son. As you grow older in age, I can see how hard you have worked throughout the years, just by looking at you. Yeah, you may not be as young as you would like to be, but to me you're still a pretty cool guy.

 

Little do you know, my life accomplishments and success are nothing but a product of your teachings. I know it might have taken 28 years for me to realize all of this, but I'm beyond happy with the person that I have become and the man I will be years from now. I envy your character, your work ethic and your strength (both physically and mentally). My only hopes is that I'll be the father to my children someday like you were to me. You take care of Mom and my brother and have supported us from the very beginning. Although I don't normally show it, I love spending time with you and talking about pretty much anything. You have succeeded as a parent... you have done an amazing and wonderful job. You have raised me well and for that you should be proud, for I am your son and to me that's the best thing I could ever Thank God for.

 

I love you Dad, thanks for always being there for me... I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for you.

 

Thank You." -Love, Gazelle (Chris)