16 Thank You's in 16 Day's | Day 1: to you, dad.

Dear Dad,

Just like how it is impossible to measure infinity, it is impossible to thank you for all that you have done for me. But I'm going to try in this letter. First of all, I want to thank you for bringing happiness into my life since the day I was born. My happiness has always been down to you. As a baby, I would sleep on your chest so peacefully like it was the safest place on earth. I may have outgrown sleeping on your chest, but being by your side, receiving one of your bear hugs or even your voice over the phone - is when I feel the safest. Like nothing could ever hurt me. 

There hasn't been a single day where I have felt like you weren't proud of me. You were proud of me every time I beat my high score on snake. You were proud of me no matter what my results were in school. You were proud of me when my teenage self could teach grown adults how to write a racing bet. You were proud of me every day that I worked in that god-awful sweet shop. You are proud of me when I come out with a witty remark. You are proud of me when I get a question right on those annoying quiz shows you watch. You are proud of me when I hit every milestone on my blog, even though you haven't got a clue what most of it means. You are proud of me every time I fight my anxiety and go outside or go to a meeting. You are proud of me every day that I wake up and fight my depression, every day that I choose life. Every time that you express how proud you are of me, it reinforces the faith I have in myself.

Last year was unbelievably hard for me, but you stood by my side the entire time. I never once told you that I wanted to die but you knew; you could see it in my eyes. But did you know that you where the one and only reason why I woke up of a morning, why I carried on? You have been protecting and saving me, every single day of my life, sometimes without even knowing it.

I don't want to just thank you for all that you have done for me, I also want to thank you for what you have given me, what you have taught me and for making me into the person I am today. My blue eyes and my smile aren't the only things I inherited from you. My stubbornness, my honesty, my loyalty, my caring nature, my protective nature - all of that came from you. I think it was half in the genes and half taught to me. You taught me that being stubborn isn't a negative trait, it's a necessity. You taught me that the only way to ever gain respect in life is to always be honest; with yourself and with others. You taught me that loyalty is the most important promise that you should keep to the people you love. 

You taught me how to defend myself, and how to protect others. You taught me that I should always protect and care for my family because family is the most important thing in the world.  You spent your weekends off helping me revise for my exams, not for me to get A's and to be a genius, but so that I had small amounts of knowledge in every subject. I thank you constantly for teaching me how to spell when I was younger, but I'll thank you again. You taught me to never do something that I don't want to do, and to never follow other people. You raised me to make my own choices and to follow my own path. 

Through everything you taught me in becoming strong, fearless and independent, you never once failed to love me with every inch of your heart. Because of you I am strong. Because of you I am independent and determined. Because of you I don't run away from things that scare me, I run to them. Because of you, I have an infinite capacity to love and to care for people. 

You raised me to stand up for what I believe in, for what is right, and for people who can't speak up. You raised me to respect people based on who they are, not where they come from, or their religion, their skin colour or their sexual preference. I am proud of the person I am today, and that is all down to you. I hope you're proud of yourself for being able to raise a strong, open-minded daughter in a close-minded world that suppresses women's strength. Instead of treating me like a princess, you taught me how to take on the world like a warrior Queen.

You have loved me every day of my life. You were there for me when nobody else was. You support me always. No matter how old I am, I will always be your little girl. You're the greatest man I have ever known and will ever know. You're my hero, my rock, my best friend.

Thank you.

I love you,

Hannie -xo

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