I want you to know how much you mean to me. How much you mean to others. How amazing of a man you are.
I think you should hear that.
I am so often in awe of you. I have never met a person more dedicated, more motivated, more focused than you.
Growing up, you hurt me, hurt me a lot. I know you didn’t mean to. But you did. As an adolescent, we didn’t have much of a relationship because I was equal parts scared of you and angry at you.
But, thank God, we moved on from that. Time heals all wounds, right? Persistence helps, too. I’m thankful you kept reaching out to me.
Despite it all, I always knew you were me and my sister’s advocate. I wouldn’t be where am now in my life were it not for my mom and you. I wouldn’t have gotten the education I did were it not for you both. I can’t thank y’all enough for that.
Yes, you can be endlessly frustrating. Yes, you’ve made mistakes.
But. I have never learned more from a person than I have from you.
You are smart as hell. You have an innate intelligence. I know you often joke about your school transcripts and how you were a “terrible” student, but damn, what does that really mean in the end? Most of all, you work harder than anyone I know. Those 15 emails I woke to every morning when I was your employee speaks to that.
You taught me that in the real world, tenacity and enthusiasm counts for everything. Adversity be damned, you just have to keep moving. Disappointments (sometimes deep, deep ones) happen. You must pivot. Look forward. Regroup and move on. As you say, the sun always comes out tomorrow.
And because of that, things are never done with you. It’s always “What more can we do?” and “What’s next?” and “How can we leverage this?” You never stop.
One of the reasons I moved to Charleston and wanted to work for Queen Street America was to have the opportunity to watch you build this company. I will never regret that choice.
I’ll always remember you waltzing down the hall, so animated, so excited, popping your head into my office. You’d tell me about your recent calls with prospects, people you’d met with, where you’d had dinner, and what dish you loved. You’d bounce ideas off of me, which I so respected.
I hope I gave you sound advice.
I felt so privileged that you welcomed my viewpoint.
You are an amazing boss, not just because of your talents as an entrepreneur. You are also so kind hearted. Considerate. The consummate mentor.
You’re such an awesome friend and supporter.
You offer the best, most constructive counsel. Be it personal or professional, I can always count on you to level it to me straight.
Tied to that – and the most important of all – I can be my most authentic self around you. I can say horribly bad words and be endlessly inappropriate and you laugh and just…understand. You appreciate me for me. For who I am. I love being around you because you never judge me. We always have the best time.
I was proud to call you my boss, but I’m the most proud to call you my Dad.
You’ve said to me: “You are your father’s daughter.” That’s high praise. I can only hope to be the person you are now.
I love you, Daddy. Forever and always.