My dad has been gone for two weeks now. That is two weeks that I haven’t been able to call to chat and ask for advice. I’m just now realizing how much I relied on his opinions. I now question whether or not I drove him nuts or bothered him, but Mom recently told me he loved that his daughters still “needed” him. He was always the “go-to” guy. This is for you, Dad.

Dear Dad,

Thank you for being the first one to call me as I left the doctor’s office with Griffin last month. You were concerned and wanted to see how things went. You were always great about showing concern for your kids and grandkids.

Thank you for the time last month when I called you and asked for your cheese fondue recipe. You rattled off “a little of this, and a little of that” without even looking it up. I always admired that you had become fond of your kitchen recipes in the latter years. I never told you, but your fondue was a hit at the party I took it to.

Just a few weeks ago, you gave me directions when I was en route to a work event and got lost. It is not the first time its happened, and just like all the others, you stopped what you were doing and got on MapQuest to help me out. And I wasn’t at all surprised when you called me 20 minutes later, just as I was arriving to my destination, to ask me, “Did you get there, Debber Doo?” I used to cringe when you called me that, now I’d give anything to hear it one more time.

Finally, thank you for being the best dad a girl could ever want. The boys have been asking me which star in the sky is Papaw Mike’s, and I tell them, simply…

…it’s the “brightest.”