Why I Love My Father: A Special Needs Father’s Day Tribute

Claire Smyth by Claire Smyth Additional Needs

Claire Smyth

Claire Smyth

Father’s Day is a time to express my appreciation, for the love and care you give me.

I may not be able to verbally tell you thank you for all that you do for me. But I try to tell you with the delight in my smile and the twinkle in my eyes when yours connect with mine.

I know that you are unlike most other Dads, that get to teach their children to throw balls, cheer them on at sporting events and dance recitals.

That your dreams for me have had to change into simply living the best life possible.

Yet, your dedication and loving care has never diminished. You never fail to comfort me after a long day of therapy or tell me how proud you are of my smallest achievements.

You’ve done your best to financially provide for all my material needs, while swallowing your pride knowing when you had to ask other sources for help to provide for the costs associated with my care.

Your efforts making it possible for me to engage in family participation opportunities, and be apart of the world around me.

You share the bittersweet journey equally with my mother, and offer her relief when she needs it, by bringing her a cup of tea or telling her you’ll give me a bath so she can have a moment to sit down. Your devotion for keeping the entire family full of love, hope and faith never waivers.

I know that I can never disappoint you.

That just by being who I am makes you beam with pleasure and delight. You have single handedly taught me about the significance of my self-worth.

You have coached me into a great understanding of unconditional love and have taught me that every life, including mine – no matter how broken it’s perceived to be by others, is of great value.

You’ve shown me the importance of working hard towards goals, and knowing it’s okay if you I don’t reach them because you know I gave it all I could.

Creatively you’ve found ways of adapting life so I could be a part of it.

Late nights after long nights on the road at work, you’d come home and re-wire a toy, find a way for me to activate a button, or work on helping me finding my voice through eye gaze communication technology.

Your patience and encouragement never ending. I know that I’ll always be your little Buddy.

To the man in my life who is my real life hero, my Dad.

Thank you for always believing in me. Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible Special Needs Dads.

You are at the center of the Special Needs Journey.

And we honor you for all that you are and all that you do.


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