While it’s still Fathers Day, I wanted to take a minute to tell y’all about my awesome dad. I know what you’re thinking, everyone always says that their dad is the #1 dad in the world and there must be at least a million #1 dads out there. But, for me, my father is truly a #1 dad. He is one of the most important people in my life. My mom being the other one.
First of all, we can start with the obvious. I would not be sitting here writing about this island called Turks and Caicos if it wasn’t for him. I thank God everyday that my father has put the love of the ocean in my life. It has become something much more than a vacation spot or a spot where I can tan my skin and drink a pina colada (although that is a perk). It means much more than crystal clear water and white sand. My dad has taught me that it’s a new place to call home, a new group of people to call family, and a new way of life that no one else can understand.
I know my life would be incredibly different if it weren’t for the things my father drilled into my head at a young age. Listening to Jimmy Buffett, Jim Morris and Kenny Chesney while sitting on the bow of a boat at age 7 was a good start, and now at 18, I think I know more Kenny Chesney songs than he does. I’d say I love the ocean more than he does, but God knows that’s not true. But, before y’all get the wrong impression here, my dad did a lot more for me than show me that it’s always 5:00 in margaritaville.
He’s taught me to always do exactly what you want to do no matter what. My dad doesn’t care what others think of him and that is something I truly do admire about him. If he wants something, he’s going to do it. This has proved to be true for 18 years. He wants to put a toilet on someones front lawn? He’ll do it. Okay, maybe that one is an inside joke…but you get the picture. I look up to his boldness everyday of my life, and I hope one day I can be as successful and ambitious as he is.
To quote my favorite basketball coach Jim Valvano, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” My father has been one of my biggest supporters since day 1. Ever since I played soccer, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse (and sucked at most of them), he was there cheering me on. He cheered me on while I ran until I just about died at my cross country races. He also questioned my sanity, but that’s a different story. More importantly, my father believed in me when I didn’t. When I didn’t think I was going to make it out of my freshman year alive, he reassured me that I was f***ing awesome and I would be home listening to Kenny Chesney soon enough. He was right, and I’m listening to the first song he ever showed me by Kenny Chesney right now. Anything but mine.
In all seriousness, though, my father put up with all the crap that I threw at him. I’m probably a pain in the ass more times than not, but my dad just got over it. And got over it again. Thanks for that, pops. And I’m sorry in advance for all the times in the future that I’m gonna be a pain in the ass again. Love you. Just remember that.
My most important point is this: my father is the only man I have loved since 1995. I’m extremely proud that I am the biggest daddy’s girls in the entire world and I don’t care who knows it. I am 18 years old and have had my fair share of boys walk in and out of my life, but I can always say that my father is the number one man in my life. Even when I had my heart ripped out of my chest for the first time by my two and a half year ex-boyfriend, I will always remember my fathers advice. “Just get over him, Mackenzie,” he would tell me. All I wanted to scream back was “Dad, it’s not that easy! Haven’t you had your heart broken before!!!” But then it hit me. It broke his heart seeing a stupid boy break my heart, and I strongly believe that if that boy came within 5 miles of my house my dad would be outside with a lacrosse stick and he wouldn’t be playing lacrosse. But now, no matter how hard I fall for another stupid boy, I know my dad is the first man I’ve ever loved. Nothing can change that, not even the stupid boy who eventually steals my heart. It’s no wonder I cry every time I listen to “I Loved Her First”.
Through all the pain-in-the-ass things I’ve done and will do, the stupid boys I dated and will date, the mistakes I’ve made and will make again and again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving me unconditionally. I’ll always be your Louie…no matter how old I get.
Happy Fathers Day T^2, and thanks for teaching me that the only thing you really need in life is an ocean…and a little bit of rum.