You are my hero. You have been for as long as I can remember. The snippets of my earliest memories involve tagging along after you, trying to do whatever you were doing - building things, working on cars, playing cards, ANYTHING, as long as I got to be in your shadow. I had arguments with my friends that my dad was cooler/stronger/smarter than their dads. I went hunting with you, even though I was terrified of actually killing anything, because it was something that I got to do with just you. I learned to change my oil and a flat tire so I could spend more time working in the garage with you. I always wanted to be good enough at whatever I did so that you would be proud of me and would put your hand on my shoulder and give me that squeeze that says all the things that words can't say. One of the most life changing moments I had as a teenager was when, in the throws of my rebellion, I had done something awful and had you stressed to the limit. You told me that you thought I was going to cause you to have a heart attack. I know that you might not remember that moment, and that if you do, it might seem like that statement didn't have an impact on me at the time... but it did. From then on, I realized that I wanted to be someone you could be proud to have as a daughter and I have worked so hard to be the best at everything I do because I want so badly to make up for how awful I was when I was a stupid teenager. In striving to make you proud, I've made myself proud - I've married a man that I love, had a child that I couldn't live without, found a career that I'm really good at, and pursued my education. I have friends that care about me and family that I love. And after all of that, you are still my hero - the strongest, bravest, stubbornest man I have ever known and I am so incredibly proud to be your daughter. So no matter what this battle is that lies ahead of us - no matter where this road takes us - you are my hero and I know that you will fight this thing and you will win because you are my dad - and my dad is stronger than anything out there. I may be closing in on my 30th birthday Dad, but I'm still a daddy's girl, no matter what....
I love you and we will beat this.