Happy Father’s Day: Letters to (and About) Our Dads


Deena and her DadMost dads would never admit they have a favorite daughter, but my dad is famous for it. “Not only are you my favorite daughter, “ he tells me on our phone conversations. “But you’re my only daughter.”

Being his favorite—and only—daughter has its perks. Like when he gave me a brand new car when I graduated from high school, or when he still takes me on shopping trips just because it’s become our little tradition. And the disadvantages are few: he’s slightly overprotective and his criticism can be relentless (sorry you think my box braids are tacky, dad).

Age-wise, we’re 45 years apart, but when we’re in our element you’d think we’ve known each other for 50 years. One of my fondest memories with him occurred last year while on a family cruise. During our duet at karaoke, we both fought for the microphone while singing “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” It’s true, he’s one of the best things that ever happened to me.

The older I get, the more I realize how special he is to me. And now that the protective veil of childhood is lifted, our easy go-to conversations are filled with 1.) travel stories that temporally fulfill our shared cravings for wanderlust. 2.) the latest political scandal, or my favorite 3.) relationship advice (note: when getting over a breakup just “keep breathing and eventually you’ll get over it,” he says). Spoken like a true friend.

My dad is heroic in his special way, and he’s everything and much more than heroes should be. He makes my world simpler and the painful things more tolerable. But most importantly, he joins me on this journey called life when I’m too afraid to walk alone. And I thank him every step of the way for it.

Happy Father’s Day,