I’ve got a funny relationship with my father. I mean, I inherited his great looks (ahem ahem) and his passion for music, so from the outside, many would assume that I’m very much like my dad. While there is some truth in that, our personalities have always found ways and reasons to clash.

We had a very rocky relationship while I was growing up. We couldn’t see eye to eye. I’d tasted the sweetness of rebellion and seemed to have a knack for knowing exactly which buttons of his to push. Tears and anger punctuated every conversation we had – and that was if we were even speaking.

But over the years, I began to see a very different side to the disciplinarian that I had grown up fearing. I admired the way he handled his relationships with unbridled authenticity, and how he wasn’t shy about his passions. I didn’t always agree with him, but I learnt how to agree to disagree. And he learnt how to accept it when I did.

This is my way of thanking you, daddy. Knowing I won’t be able to say all this to you without sobbing, I thought I’d express it in writing.

So, over time, I’ve allowed my dad to speak into my life. And I’ve come to realise how much of a difference it’s made to me.

This is my way of thanking you, daddy. Knowing I won’t be able to say all this to you without sobbing, I thought I’d express it in writing.

Dear Daddy,
I’m sorry it took so much out of you to love me.

I was so difficult. I was defiant. I was struggling so much within myself and didn’t know what to do. So I acted out in frustration, confusion and anger.

But through it all, you were that steady presence in my life. Even when you were angry with me, I always knew you’d be there for me in a heartbeat if I was in some sort of trouble.

I’m sorry, Daddy. I’m sorry I held onto all this anger and unforgiveness – way longer than I should have. I’m sorry I disrespected you with my thoughts and my actions (or inaction).

I’m sorry I was so stubborn. It was hard for me to say the words I’m sorry without the fire of defiance burning in me. I failed to see my own faults and was always quick to blame you for the way you raised me.

I know now what it means to love someone, even if they don’t want it. I’ve learnt what it looks like to love regardless. Loving me meant you had to scramble to hold me together when I was falling apart. Loving me meant you had to fight back your own tears as you dried mine.

You knew at some point you had to let me go and find my own way. Even if that meant that I would get hurt in the process. Even if it killed you to see me wander off so far.

It took me a while, but I’ve learnt to recognise your love when I see it. It may not look the way I want it to – but I don’t question it anymore.

You may not share my enthusiasm for certain dinner table conversations. But I know if I ever need to talk, you’d be there to hear me out. While it’s hard for you to keep your opinions about my life to yourself, I know whatever you have to say holds weight.

I’m starting to appreciate that you’re always there when I return home after a long day. I’m thankful I still get to say goodnight to you before I head to bed. I’m thankful that you’re still here to chide me and say “this house is not a hotel” whenever I come home late.

I’m learning to appreciate having you here with me. I’m going to want to keep you around for as long as I can. I’m learning to savour the little moments we have because, well, who knows how much longer we’ll get to enjoy them?

Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for forgiving me time and time again. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I’d already given up on myself. Even when I’m at my least lovable, you’re always there to pour your love into my life.

Thank you for giving me the kick in my butt when I need it most – but also when it is the last thing I want. Thank you for being the kind of father who isn’t afraid to tell his daughter  to “man up”. Thank you for always being quick to come to my defence, but for also being equally swift to correct me when I mess up.

I couldn’t have asked for a better dad. But perhaps you could have wished for a better daughter (too bad you got stuck with me).

I know it hasn’t always been easy and your job is a thankless one. But today, I’m appreciating your love. I know you’ve brought me up in the best way that you knew how.

Love you daddy. You’re truly my hero.

Your better-looking doppelgänger,