Always There

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” ~ Jim Valvano

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a letter of deep gratitude to mine… The man who stands as tall as a mountain in my life and is my hero in more ways than I can count…

Hey Papy:

Happy Father’s Day!Jun21_FathersDay_Illustrate11_Large

It’s funny isn’t it– the fact that I’m a grown woman and I still call you Papy… (A term of endearment which means ‘Daddy’)

Actually, my favorite name for you is Papito fofo or ‘snuggly daddy’. Because that’s what you have always been to me. A giant teddy bear overflowing with love. With a heart bigger than the whole world.

Ok so I’m your daughter. It’s normal that I adore you. But guess what Papy? That’s how EVERYONE feels about you. My friends. Your friends. You are adored everywhere.

In fact it is impossible not to love you.

You are always so happy. Always smiling. Always ready to light up our life with a new joke… or a compliment… or a word of encouragement.

When we talk on the phone (oh how I love that), I always ask you how you are doing. And you invariably answer “better now that I’m talking with you”.

When I ask you about your life, your answer is always the same. “Wonderful!”

The Biggest Gift

You never complain. About anything or anyone.

Sorry, I take that back. I HAVE seen you sad—but it’s only when your soccer team loses. : )

And what a gift that has always been for me.overhead view of a gift with a red satin ribbon bow on a white background

You have given me the gift of the RIGHT ATTITUDE. You have shown me how to be positive—not just when things are good (because that’s too easy!) but when the chips are down.

You have taught me how to reach for the stars. To believe in the ‘impossible’. To go after my dreams and simply not listen to others who shake their heads with disapproval.

You have taught me how to appreciate the small moments. To be happy even when we’re far from the ones we love. To be optimistic—confident that good will come out of every situation.

You Are Always There

As my driver.

As my cheerleader.

To take me to university (even though it was 8 hours away!)

To go to classes or lectures or conferences with me.

I have lived in the US for 12 years. I visit Brazil 3-4 times every year. Hugging you at the airport is the first thing I do when I arrive and the last thing I do when I leave.

You are always there to pick me up. And to drop me off. Every. Single. Time.

You were always there to make me feel beautiful when I felt ugly.

Smart when I was struggling with my studies.Jun21_FathersDay_Illustrate9_Large

Confident when I was faltering.

You Taught Me to Enjoy Life

We always have so much fun!

I think one of my favorites is watching sports with you. Remember how we used to wake up in the middle of the night to check out the Brazilian volleyball teams in international competitions?

And what about the endless card games? I don’t think there is anything that makes you happier; you LOVE to play cards.

Aah… and there is Christmas. Remember when you gave us an Atari (wow, that’s a blast from the past?) and you decided you’d play ‘a bit’ so you can teach us how to do it. Well we went to bed on Christmas Eve at 10 pm and when we woke up on Christmas morning at 7 am you were still playing!

Your Tears

I do believe one of the things I love the best is the fact you cry so easily. You cry when you look at our photos as children. Or when you listen to music. Or the time we were in Las Vegas to celebrate your 70th birthday and we were watching the show Jersey Boys and it reminded you of your childhood and home. Or even when you read a card we write you (are you crying right now Papy?)

I think you cry because your heart is just too big… it’s like a full river that has so much water—so much love—that it simply overflows.

Every single time we end a conversation, you always tell me “You (and your sister) are the treasures of my life. I love you very very much.”

So I’m here to tell you today that I feel the EXACT same way about you.Jun21_FathersDay_Illustrate8_Large

You are the absolute treasure of my life. And I love you very, very much.

To the ‘Always There’ Light of my Life… Happy Father’s Day!

From The Luckiest Daughter in the Whole World


P.S. And in honor of my father and all the wonderful fathers out there, I’d like to share a very yummy recipe for Almost-Instant Chocolate Pudding brought to us by the queen of vegan desserts Chef Fran Costigan.

Happy Father’s Day to All.