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This Sunday is Fathers day and for the first time in my life I have two fathers to celebrate – you and Tim.  Since I’m raising a boy now I have been thinking a bit about what makes a great man and what it is I hope to instill in Russell as he grows up. I am grateful for the man you are and the father you have been.

I know that we all have regrets in life and that one of yours is that you spent the first 40 years of your life running from God. But I want you to know how grateful and glad I am, as your daughter that you have spent the last 30+ years strongly seeking after God’s heart.  I respect the courage that it took for you to humble yourself at age 40 and do a complete 180-degree life change.  I admire the strength that it took for you to stop drinking and change so many of your values, priorities and habits.  I have a foundation of love and hilarious memories today because of the sacrifices you made for our family.  I remember that time when I was in 5th grade and you turned down that promotion in Chicago because it would’ve meant too much time away from your family.  Very few men choose to prioritize their families in the working years of life, and it is one of the qualities I so appreciate about you.  My life is full of laughter today because you taught me how to laugh hard, be silly and keep on finding ways to smile even in the storms.  Thanks for all those “Fury” rides, family vacations, “lucky” prayers before bed, and for adjusting and learning to pack your own lunch when mom went back to work.  Thanks even more for making your marriage with mom a priority and for showing me what a loving relationship really looks like.  Thanks for being strong enough to admit when you were wrong.  Thanks for modeling the love of Christ and a life of service. Thanks for showing me the Father-heart of God. Thanks for being my dad.

Love you,

Susie