To the men who raised me | Father's Day 2016

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To the men who raised me.

To my father, the man who helped create me and gave me my first last name. I have nothing but amazing memories for the seven short years that you were here in my life. We had fun, you were kind, and you loved me unconditionally. Every time I drink sweet tea, or see coconut covered marshmallows, I think of you and I smile.

I love you. I miss you. Thank you.

To my grandfather, who was my bestest best friend. Long before my father was gone, you were there for me, but after he was gone, you stepped up to the plate to give me an amazing father figure. You shared your love of travel, new gadgets, and humor with me. You showed me how marriage could look, and how much a husband could love a wife. You ordered me my first CD, and you even listened to it with me, even though I knew that Ricky Martin (Livin' la vida loca!) was not your thing.

Sometimes I catch a whiff of Old Spice, and it feels like Christmas again. You'll be downstairs soon for a hug and that silly little clicking noise that you did with your nose. I've still never heard anything like it to this very day.

I love you. I miss you. Thank you.

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To my uncle Ralph, who I am most like. You were my favorite person in the whole world, and you still are. You gave me a love of music, art, and philosophy. You instilled in me a love of psychology, and the lesson to always believe in myself. You always, always believed in me, and even if you got cranky for being woke up, you were always there for me. I don't know where I would be, or who I would be, without you in my life.

Your loss was the most poignant loss I've ever experienced. The day you left this earth, we lost a great man, and nothing made sense for a long time. It still sometimes doesn't.

I love you. I miss you. Thank you.

And lastly, to Adam, my husband, the second man to give me his name. I have watched you stretch and grow, and I have watched myself grow with you. While our marriage hasn't always been the easiest, I am still incredibly in love with you, and you make me laugh like nobody else has. You have been by me through death, pregnancy, the birth of our daughter, postpartum depression, and so much more, and you've never wavered for being my rock. You are, quite simply, home.

Our daughter is the perfect combination of you, and of me, and I couldn't have chosen a better man to be the father to my baby. I love you always. Thank you.

To all of the other men (and women) who are fathers, whether your children are biologically yours, or not - happy father's day.