I want to take time today and just give thanks to my earthly father, Pratus, for being there for me always. I can remember my dad taking me to get my favorite sausage biscuit with grape jelly from a local drive-thru in Columbus, Mississippi, then taking me to the babysitter. I can remember him bouncing me on his knees and playing with me. I was spoiled but not in a bad way. I got gifts but his presence was the best gift. I can remember sitting outside every day after school waiting for my dad to get off work. When I would see his work truck pulling in the yard, I would run to meet him. I was daddy’s little girl. As I grew up, I just remember my dad always being there. There came times when I disappointed him but my daddy was there. I had my first child at age seventeen but my dad didn’t turn his back on me. He never yelled but he did preach to me. If I had car problems, instead of him referring me to a car repair shop, he repaired my vehicles with his own time and sweat. He has always come through when I needed him the most. Even when I didn’t ask, he still gave. And he still does. My daddy’s presence in my life has been consistent. He never went days without talking to me. He has always checked up on me. He has never been selfish regarding me. It was my desire for my children to have the same kind of fathers but my choice in men messed that up. Even then, my dad still supported me never letting my kids go without anything. My dad is helping me raise all of my children. The same fatherly character he has practiced with me, he practices with my children as well. I am grateful for that. Because of my dad’s dedication, I learned the qualities a man should possess in regards to being a great man to me and a great father to my children. I thank my dad for his genuine love from the bottom of my soul. Although I am older now, I think in his eyes I will always be “his little girl.” I love you, Daddy. – S.L.M.