There’s no one in the world quite like a daddy. When you’re young, he holds your hands so you don’t fall, teaches you to ride a bike, reads your favorite books, and helps you surprise Mommy. Fathers are a daughter’s first love and a son’s first hero. And as you grow, the more you realize just how much your dad loves you. When he’s not holding your hand through whatever life throws at you, he has your back with years of wisdom and insight. Your father can be your role model, best friend and your biggest fan — no matter where life takes you.

At The Recovery Village, we celebrate fatherhood and appreciate all the fathers we know: dads who double as doctors at The Recovery Village, fathers in recovery who are bettering themselves for their children, and father figures who serve as lifelong advocates for sobriety. Whether it’s through adoption, marriage or blood, any man can be a father. But it takes a special man to be a daddy. Eric Bush, Managing Editor here at The Recovery Village, knows this firsthand as the proud father of two. For Father’s Day, he penned the following letter for his kids to read someday, expressing his gratitude for them, how proud he is of them and the joy they bring to his life, even from a distance.

To my son and daughter,

I haven’t talked to or seen you two in a while, and someday you will understand why. But today I just want you both to know and understand how much your daddy loves and misses you. I think about you every minute of every day. There isn’t a moment that passes that I don’t imagine giving you hugs and kisses. Daddy loves you more than you can ever imagine, and that love will never waiver or change.

My daughter, you are my first and only little girl. You changed my life and my heart, and you will always be my little princess. Don’t ever forget that. My son, my little man, you are so special to me because you complete our little family. You will do things for your big sister that you can’t even fathom. I love you, bro. Life isn’t perfect, but love is forever — and I love you both to the stars and back. I know there will come a time when we can laugh and play again. Believe that. Have faith in that above anything. I can’t promise you it’ll be easy, but I can promise you I will be your father forever.

To my daughter, I love you. I will never forget the moment I found out my first child would be a little girl. It was so unexpected and so perfect. When I first saw your picture, I knew that the stars had aligned and you were created to be part of our family. I still remember, like it was yesterday, how you loved me with your huge heart. You had no reason to, but you did. I “booped” your little nose, and we were set to be together forever. You may not have my DNA, but you were made just for me and Mommy. It wasn’t by accident or chance. It was always meant to be. You’re my daughter, and I’m your father. Nothing will ever change that. I could laugh and cry for eternity thinking back through the memories we’ve shared: your first plate of spaghetti, the first time it was just the two of us at Starbucks, the way you laughed seeing your first Pixar movie. I will never forget seeing your eyes light up as your beautiful imagination soared when we took you to Disney World. You looked at me like I could do no wrong with eyes that made the world disappear around us. I am always amazed at how caring your heart is. You have the most amazing heart; please don’t ever lose that.

I love you, baby girl. You are going to change the world someday, I have no doubt about it. I know our big life changes have been hard on you (probably more so than anyone else), but you’re so strong. The love flowing inside you is forever. Someday I will tell you how you saved my life in ways no one else could have. Just know that your daddy loves you, misses you and can’t wait to see you again. Everything I do is for you and your little brother, my forever family. For now, be an amazing big sister and help Mommy with whatever she needs. Be a good helper. She needs and deserves it.

To my son, we may not have had as much time together yet, but you changed my life too. I never understood why I needed to be a better man until you came into my life. My first son — my little miracle built with the strength to carry the universe on his shoulders — seeing how you view the world makes me smile bigger than any dinosaur. Your strength, imagination and personality melts me. Whenever I have a bad day, all I have to do is remember your sweet smile and laughter. Don’t ever lose your outlook on life. It will serve you well, I promise. Everything I do is for you and your sister. Someday you will meet the man I’ve become and be proud to call me your father.

I can’t wait to teach you how to be a man, and a great one, too. Someone who helps those who others have forgotten and a man who people will remember. The memories you have given me will last a lifetime: your love of dinosaurs, how you take things apart just to see how they work, the way you can melt anyone’s heart with just a hug and how much you love your big sister and would protect her with your life. You are inspiring, don’t ever change. I will be here whenever you need to know how life works as a man, but for now, I need you to be the man of the house. Be there for your sister and mommy when I can’t be. Protect and love them for the both of us. You are so strong, little man. My son, don’t ever be normal. Be great.

My two amazing and perfect children, I love you forever and ever. I miss you terribly. I think about you both in every second of every day that passes. I can’t wait to hold you both again, hear all about your lives and how many fun things you’ve done since we last saw each other. I’m sorry for the way our lives have changed, but you never have to doubt how much you are loved by me and your mommy — we love you more than life itself. I would never change anything that has happened, because life has given me the most amazing gifts in the universe: the two of you, my children. I’ll see you soon. Shine bright.


Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.