Sunday, June 19, 2011

Because You Loved Me...

At my wedding, I danced with my father to "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion. Here's why:

For all the times you stood by me...
Physically, you stood by me at least 10 times for Parents' Night at basketball, volleyball and softball games. Emotionally, you stood by me many more times.

For all the truth that you made me see...
You are such a constant force in my life. I can't even begin to list the number of times you have guided me in the right direction.

For all the joy you brought to my life...
One of my favorite memories with you happened many times: sitting in the passenger seat of your big red GMC Sierra listening to "Colors of the Wind" by Vanessa Williams. You fostered my love for Disney movies, and this is just one example of that.

For all the wrong that you made right...
When I decided to stop playing volleyball at UMD, a decision I agonized and sobbed over for hours, you surprised me by telling me that I should follow my heart. I thought you would tell me that I should finish what I started, but you could see the struggle I was going through. You knew it was the right thing for me to do.

For every dream you made come true...
Speaking of UMD volleyball, I would never have done it if it weren't for you. I wanted to continue playing volleyball into college, but you gave me the strength to try out. You always see the worth in Sarah, Mom, and I that we don't ourselves see. Remember driving home from tryouts? You were so happy for me. When we got home, Mom made a congratulatory steak dinner.

For all the love I found in you...
When I was little, we used to hold hands whenever we went anywhere. One specific time I'm thinking of, we're walking across the parking lot to Border's in Dearborn. As young as I was, I honestly remember cherishing that day. I realized, even then, that we had a special relationship, one like no other father and daughter in the world. We went in to the store and you made a beeline for the music section and I found a home in the children's nook and read on the stairs. Maybe you're one of the reasons I love reading so much today.

I'll be forever thankful.

You're the one who held me up,
never let me fall.
You're the one who saw me through,
through it all.

You were my strength when I was weak.
You were my voice when I couldn't speak.
You were my eyes when I couldn't see.
You saw the best there was in me.

Lifted me up when I couldn't reach,
you gave me faith 'cause you believed.
I'm everything I am
because you loved me.

You gave me wings and made me fly.
You touched my hand, I could touch the sky...
I wish I had the picture to post. The best I can do is try to recreate the image with words. You're not in the picture, but I know you're down there. I'm about 5 years old, wearing a blue and pink striped bathing suit. Smiling from ear to ear, my arms and legs are spread wide in relaxed happiness. Standing in Lake George, you threw me into the air, and for a moment, I was flying. Back on Earth, I landed into your arms, just where I belonged.

I lost my faith, you gave it back to me.
You said no star was out of reach.

You stood by me, and I stood tall.
I had your love, I had it all.
I'm grateful for each day you gave me.

Maybe I don't know that much,
but I know this much is true:
I was blessed because I was loved by you.

You were always there for me, the tender wind that carried me,
the light in the dark, shining your love into my life.
You've been my inspiration. Through the lies, you were the truth.
My world is a better place because of you.

In hindsight, I think that picture at Lake George is symbolic of our relationship. You raised me with confidence. You tossed me into the sky to fly on my own, but you controlled the wind. You were always standing under me, ready to catch me when I fell.

***

Now I have another father, Rich Lewis, Sr. He is certainly in deservance of an honorable mention. Thanks for keeping our car running, for turning our soil, and for being our friend. I'm happy to say that Rich has, in many ways, turned into you. Thank you.

3 comments:

  1. Katie, you made me cry. I can't wait to share this with Dad, it's just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete

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