An Open Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,

One of my earliest memories of you is when I stepped out of my bedroom on an early morning and saw you kneeling at the end of your bed.  You were asking God to protect your children in that new day. I didn’t intrude or interrupt but instead quietly tiptoed away and wondered to myself how often you did that.

Time told over the years that it was many times over.  It’s one of the many things I learned from you. Prayer works and talking with God always helps.

Your hard work to provide for your family was always evident. You worked a full-time job at the factory, mowed lawns, sharpened blades, scissors and anything else to bring in extra money.  You sold donuts, rented out apartments and tilled gardens.  We were never wealthy but we were never truly lacking.  We didn’t go hungry… even if that meant eating pancakes more often than I would like.  Our bellies never grumbled for long.

You worked hard to provide for your wife and six kids.

You taught us the value of hard work.  We each had our own paper route and high school part-time job.

You were generous in meeting needs and strict when it came to free hand-outs.

I remember learning that lesson during my freshman year of college.  I went off with my own car to the big city.  You handed me a credit card to a specific gas station with the instructions, “Use only for emergencies!”

After that first billing cycle, you received the bill and I received a note — from you.

That’s when I was gently reminded in a disciplinary sort of way that gas for cruising, Snicker bars, Doritos and soda were not in any way part of an ‘emergency’ situation.

When Dave asked your permission to marry me, one of the first things you asked him was “How are you going to provide for my daughter?”  We joked about it later but Dave has always said, “I made a promise to your dad, Rachel, I will always provide for you.”

us 93

dad and I

You took seriously the responsibility of the lives entrusted to you. And providing for their needs has always been a top priority for you. That is honorable, Dad!  You always did that well.  Thank you!

You are a man of your word.  There was no fooling when it came to what you said to be true. If we were messin’ around at church, school or just plain ol’ misbehaving we were goin’ get it when we got home… we knew that to be true.  Your word was to be trusted.

If you made a commitment to another, an appointment or meeting, you always followed through no matter the difficulty in sticking to that commitment.  If you promised— I knew you would pull through.  You stayed true to what you said you would do.  Thank you for teaching me integrity.  Standing by commitments, staying true to my word and following through to the end — these are all things you taught me well.

I’ve heard you say, “I could have done better at raising you kids.”

I think as a mother now, I can say that about raising my own kids.  We are not perfect parents. We can’t get it right every time. Yet I want you to know I am proud to have you as my father.

Thank you for loving us well through your provision, life of commitment and integrity.

Thank you most of all for your many prayers spoken at the foot of your bed.  God only knows the many times we were protected because of your prayers.  Thank you!

As you celebrate another year lived I pray blessing for you just as you prayed for us. May you continue to live out His plan and the purpose He has for you even in this season of your life.

You did good, Dad!  Happy Birthday and I love you!

Your daughter,


Papa Green and Matt

10 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Dad

  1. You were certainly blessed, and I got to experience that love, discipline and how he is a man of his word. I never doubted your dad, he was one of the first men that I learned to trust…beautiful words Rach…thank you for the memory of your dad today…he is in all things “good” and loving, and the memory shows me how God was really working to protect me as I grew up. Thanks for sharing a bit of him with me as I grew up xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aye, and aren’t you, and this essay, the proof that he was and is a good Dad?

    And isn’t the world a brighter place, having the two of you in it?

    And wouldn’t I be here from Inspire Me Monday, after a long day working on me next novel, “Emerald Isle”?


  3. What a beautiful letter to your daddy, Rachel :). Parents are so precious (although it often takes years for us to figure that out!). I’m so glad he’s still around and actively taking part in the next generation’s development. This world needs godly men!


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