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I am my Father's Daughter

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I am my father’s daughter and I am not afraid of anything – Queen Elizabeth

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Sixty years tending to his roots in Wyoming, thirty-five of those years married to my mother.  Called Dad for over the last 33.
The majority of his career has taken place one hour from home, at an open-pit coal mine.  Mechanic by trade.  Long days, short nights.  Still the first one up on his days off.
Dad is hilarious.  The original funny man, perhaps the funniest man I know…because we share the same kind of humor.
A man of God.  Gives the best dinner prayers and honest explanations of biblical stories.  A man of faith.
My father is a poet.  Writing pieces to me since a young girl, the latest his father of the bride speech.
I have come to do many things like my dad.  I’d proudly display the Girl Scouts badge of Daddy’s Girl, taking after him in looks, tendencies and personality.
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My admiration for my father came effortlessly as a child.  Together we watched Star Wars and Superman.
When I was in high school he became a real life superhero on the day he buried our childhood dog.
Our brittany spaniel had been hurting for a while and the family decided it was time to put her down.  I think out of all the animals that have graced our home, Brooke was his dog.
I came home from school, thinking that dad would have already buried her, next to the rest of our pets in the backyard.  Oh yes, did I mention we have a pet cemetery?
Nearly by fate, as I opened the blinds to I see my father carry in our lifeless family pet.  The love and sorrow on my fathers face exposed. He could have asked the vet to prepare our dog differently.  Box, bag or delivered.  But he loved that dog.  He bore the responsibility to take care of her.  Say goodbye his own way.  Carry her to her resting place.
This story is a prime example of how my dad lives his life.  Without complaint, willingly, he carries my family.  Sometimes we forget he is there.  His lighthearted love filling in the cracks of our weaknesses just when we need it.  No peep of complaints or concerns.  Even when he is tired and hurting, would never dream of setting us down.  Superman.
As I mentioned before, he is a self-taught poet.  I owe my father many things, but for a while I have wanted to write him a poem.  Today seemed like a good day for that.
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My father is sixty today
so I have a few things to say.
Part cowboy, comedian, and carpenter.
Worker of 12 hour days, mark these words.
Number one dad for my brother and I.
Smile always on his face kind of guy.
Is a Mason, Shriner and church volunteer.
Lighting up every room with genuine cheer.
Loves my mother with all he has.
When they two-step it is with such pizzazz.
Hero, running partner, and friend.
Plenty of time, love and advice he is sure to lend.
Far from him I have been for a while now.
A daddy’s girl, getting home when times allow.
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Three years married to a man just like you.
Comic, poet & middle child, I should have known.
Your love taught me the way.
Be devoted, write love notes & take time to play.
A birthday wish, to the man who loved me first.
Cheered from the sidelines and held me at my worst.
I love you from your well etched laugh-lines to calloused hands.
In me you have one of your biggest fans.
–Happy birthday dad!  I am proudly my father’s daughter.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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