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Dear Dad

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June 14, 2019
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As I get older, I realize that there was much you didn't know about being a father when you had me. You were young, just like I am now and figuring things out in your own life, and then your children came along. Maybe it was easier then, maybe it's easier now. There will never really be any real way to compare the two with all the changes in society and culture.But I know one thing has remained the same. You had no idea what you were doing. Just like I, if I were to become a father in the next year would idea what I'm doing. Somehow though, you made it work. Despite your humanity and the imperfections that come with it, you loved, you taught, you did the best that you could. Even now writing this I'm not afraid to admit it brings me to tears knowing that one day you won't be here.I hope you know how much our time spent together meant to me growing up. Even when I was embarrassed because you were wearing sandals with socks and telling the worst 'dad-jokes'. How I felt when I saw the solemn look on your face as I returned to California from pre-deployment leave. Mom was crying. And there you stood a statue. A pillar of strength. I could see the pain in your eyes as you did your best to put on a brave face. You weren't sure if you'd ever see me again. It must have been hell for you, yet you didn't run and stop me. You believed in me and I knew, in that moment whether or not I made it back alive, I'd made you proud.There is not a manual for fatherhood. There is no perfect way to raise a son or daughter. But somehow, we haven't destroyed the world yet. That is a testament to you. To all fathers.For all of the fathers reading this, on this father's day, thank you for showing up, for trying.From our family to yours, Happy Father's Day.

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