When Mother was pregnant with me, you would sing me to sleep every night.

Your cheek would nestle against her stomach, and I would hear your soft songs and fall asleep.

When I was born, I came out screaming.

You said my name and I stopped crying, mesmerized by the voice I recognized from your songs.

My first memory is of you and your smile under a big, bright blue sky.

The sound of your laughter as you played with me is ingrained in my memory, along with the song you sang:

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.”

Your voice would guide me as I grew older, making me laugh, making me cry, inspiring and maddening in equal measures.

Now, your voice is one of the things I know and love best in this world.

I know your encouragement, even before you speak it. I know your support and love before you open your mouth.

Thank you, Daddy, for being one of the voices in my head, for your love, for your laugh.

I love you, Daddy! You’re my sunshine, too.