My father probably has no idea he taught me to be the strongest person in the room.
He's not the overly lovey-dovey type, and you're much more likely to get a witty joke out of his mouth than a term of endearment.
But nine out of 10, I’d say I need the former so much more.
He’s the first to say, “Listen to your mother” or to correct my spelling.
He’s only openly disapproved of a man I was dating after we’d spilt up, saying something like, “I knew you’d figure that out!”
My dad’s one of the smartest men I know, and not only because he gets every answer right on "Jeopardy."
He is a support system like no other. He knows when to step in and when to back off.
He knows when to admit he’s wrong and when to fight to be right. I am so lucky to have inherited his instincts and strength.
He isn’t perfect, but I know my dad loves and believes in me. He shows all of this by trusting me.
I come from a loud, critical, wild, wonderful and vibrant family. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I was raised by my mom's Italian-American side, and I was always reminded to stay close to one another and watch each other's backs.
I learn so much from my family, but it's my dad's silent ways, his jokes and his stories that have given me the backbone I stand with today.
He's truthful and kind, but he's brave and brash. I remember dancing with my dad at a family party when I was around age 12, and he whispered, "You'll do whatever you want. I don't worry about you."
It may sound simple, but coming from someone I worked so hard to please, it was something I’ll never forget. He trusts me and believes in me.
Much later on, fresh out of college and working long hours at my first "real" job, I called my dad to explain a new opportunity that was quite a risk.
I wanted to quit my job to quickly pursue a path I felt was designed for me. I was shaking uncontrollably when I called for his opinion.
I also needed to ask him to spot me a month’s rent while I took some time to get on my feet and chase the goal.
He works very hard at his day job and runs a successful restaurant with my mom, so I thought he would just tell me to stick it out, save up a little cash and then make the next big move.
However, he responded, "Go for it! I wish I was your age and could quit a job!" He laughed. With trust and ease, that was it.
He gave me the confirmation I needed to jump and to truly trust myself and my instincts.
It’s his trust that's carried me to the privilege of being my own boss, and his courage reminds me I can do anything I’m willing to work hard for and believe in.
It's so hard for most of us to consistently believe in our goals and ideas.
Having such a strong figure let me know I would be okay, without any hesitation, is a rare gift I'm lucky to have and share.
So many people speak about support and love, but to truly, continually show it is the most genuine love there is. That's my dad.
Sure, there were times when my mother said, "Just wait until your father gets home and hears what you did!"
And for a moment, I would be nervous. But as far back as I can remember, I'd feel relief. My dad gets me. He might not agree with mistakes I've made, but he's going to at least try to understand.
His strong opinions are often shared, but as the conversations continue, he knows how to see both sides.
He knows how to be wrong and how to be right. He's the perfect example of actions speaking louder than words.
I'm sharing my personal narrative about my dad because as Father's Day approaches, I can't think of a single gift he would want.
But, I hope he knows the invaluable gifts he's given and continues to give me. I hope he knows he talks in my mind daily.
His trust guides me step by step as I work to build a life I've always dreamed of.
He believes in me and my dreams, and knowing that allows me to pursue them without hesitation.
So with this, I celebrate my dad for believing in me when I forget to.