Today is my Dad’s birthday.  He sent me an email the day yesterday, with the subject line saying “Last Day Blues” which went on to talk about how “old” 48 was.  I love my dad dearly and he is many things, but old he is not. I hope he’s reading this, where at the end of the day there might copious amounts of comments telling him how NOT old 48 is.

My dad has always been number one in my life.  I remember growing up laughing out loud at all the things he’d say, proud to have such clever and witty genes, hoping that one day, I’d be as well-spoken, fun and entertaining as he was.  We’d go on trips around Europe, he and I basking in the sun by a cool swimming pool, each eating Calippos and drinking Fanta.  One of my more vivid memories is of him sellotaped to a lilo (I don’t know what you call them in north America!) and being thrown in at the deep end, laughing so hard I cried.

I remember my first “work experience” at school – I must’ve been about eleven, and I went with him to British Aerospace.  I learned about planes and missiles and all sorts of things eleven year old girls don’t understand at all, but felt incredibly grown up following him around, proud to be introduced as his daughter as everyone greeted us with an enormous smile. There was always a feeling of respect and appreciation from people around my dad. You could tell they admired him, and that he made working there fun.

I remember Christmases with my dad, helping him cook in the kitchen as he taught me what a sweetcorn fritter was and how they were a staple of holiday dinners.  I remember his patience as well as his jokes as he tried to help a hopeless girl understand the concept of trigonometry. I remember his words of advice and encouragement when I decided to move out for the first time, and his support every time I’ve ever moved. Which, in the last five or six years, has been more than a fair bit.

I remember when my parents separated, that instead of driving us apart, it brought us closer. I broke up with a long-term boyfriend that same November, and I remember sitting on my makeshift couch in a half-empty apartment on Christmas Day with my Dad, eating packet mashed potatoes and microwave turkey, there for each other in our hours of need. He came with me to see the “most unfestive movie we could think of” afterward, too.

We’ve shared everything over the years, the most recent of which have brought us closer than ever. He was there through my breakup from hell, standing up for me to some absolutely awful people, and avenging my ex in a rather… unbloggable, but downright hilarious way! He visited my nan (his mum) in her hour of need this year, bringing together a family that hadn’t spoken in years, which was nothing short of miraculous.  He came back with all sorts of old photographs and stories, nic nacs from aeons ago, reminding me always that what’s happened in the past doesn’t necessarily have to dictate the future. That sometimes, there are more important things in life.  He continues to inspire me to this day.

Happy birthday to my wonderful Dad, my best friend in the whole world. Someone who unconditionally sees the best in people, in situations, and in other people’s intentions. Someone who planted the seeds for a lifelong love of music, who still makes mix CDs for me and cranks up the ones I make for him. Someone who shed a tear when I got my Gaelic tattoo translating to “my father’s daughter”.  Someone who got me up at the crack of dawn on my birthday two years ago and took me on a surprise trip around Paris.  Who put me on a surprise jet plane for my birthday last year. Someone who’s always encouraged me to follow my dreams and to do the right thing, even if sometimes those things are the most difficult.  Happy birthday to the man I couldn’t be prouder to call Dad.  I love you.


  1. I need to stop reading your blog as I get ready for work – crying eyes are not good at this time of the day! Wow Em, what a tribute to your dad. As a parent, I can only pray that someday my kids will feel the same way about me some day. You are both so blessed to have such a relationship! Happy Birthday Em’s Dad!!

  2. Oh Em… This was one of the sweetest pieces you’ve written. I, too, am close with my dad and understand your bond with him. We’re lucky, lucky girls.

    So Happy Birthday, Sir!! And psssst! Didn’t you hear? 48? Its the new 28.

    Embrace your inner 28.

  3. this brought tears to my eyes… what a lovely tribute for a wonderful man!

    so much of this hit home- i’m also ‘my father’s daughter’ in so many similar ways.

    happy birthday to your papa, and NO! he is not old!

  4. ahhh em this was so sweet! look at how handsome your dad is now we can see where you get your good looks from! plus you guys look so much alike……its lovely you wrote this about your dad he sounds like such a wonderful man. hope he has a great birthday and as if he thinks 48 is old, tell him he doesnt look a day over 30!!!!

  5. Aww, how sweet. And omigosh is that you two at the end there? ADORABLE.

    48 is most definitely not old. My parents are both over a decade older than that (shh).

  6. Happy birthday, Sir! And definitely, 48 is nowhere near old.

    Emily, what a beautiful tribute! It definitely made me blink a little harder than usual, and I did dash off an e-mail to my father just saying hello from this end of the world- because well, as you’ve put it so beautifully; no matter how independent we are or how far away we live, we’ll never really stop asking for their opinion, needing their strength and knowing that their love is solid, immovable, unconditional.

    I’m going to go stare at pictures of my parents and miss them a little now.

  7. What a lovely tribute to your dad Em. I can’t think of a greater honour then when our children sing our acolades, you have shared with us what a father’s heart looks like.

    For many of us we can only dream of having a father who is our teacher, our mentor and of course our loudest cheerleader your father has clearly been all of these and more in your life. You are richly blessed Em.

    Cheers to you Emily’s Father Happy Birthday!

  8. Happy birthday to your dad! I’m 25 and my dad is 44 – I think it’s great that after the kids have grown up.. they can enjoy life again!

  9. How sweet! Your dad sounds like such a wonderful man! And no, 48 is NOT old! You’re not much younger than I am, and my dad AND FIL will both be 60 this year!

    This post makes me wish I was as close to my dad as I used to be. It’s not been the same since he and my mom separated.

    Happy Birthday to Emily’s dad! You have raised a wonderful daughter! Be proud! 🙂

  10. That was so endearing. You make me proud just knowing you because of how awesome your dad is

  11. awww this is so sweet! you guys are so lucky to have one another. happy birthday to your dad!! ❤ oh, and 48 is definitely NOT old!! lol. plus he looks to be about 10 years younger than that. he's got plenty of time 😉 ❤

  12. AGREED. He looks at least a decade younger. We’re the same age and my parents are both in their late fifties!!! Loved this post Em. He sounds like such a wonderful man and he raised a wonderful daughter! Happy Birthday Sir!

  13. Wow – this is what happens when two free spirited people coexist in the same family! A life gets to be lived to the fullest extent.
    And as for the “old Dad”, it took me time to figure out where the dad on the picture was?! I thought it was one of Emily’s friends.
    Happy B-day Emily’s Dad!

  14. Awwwww I love this!! It’s so sweet! And 48 is not old. 😉 Hehehe, my dad is 48, too! Dad’s are special people. Happy birthday to your dad! ❤

  15. My dad is 60 so 48? That’s incredibly young! Your dad sounds like he is more than just a dad – he’s a best friend too. You are both so lucky and fortunate to have such a strong relationship!

  16. awwwwwwwww!!! YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR DAD!!! I look like my dad, too.

    I am a daddy’s girl, so I COMPLETELY understand this post!! 🙂

    My dad is turning 60 this year, and that’s still young! So 48 is nothin’

  17. Happy Birthday to Em’s Dad!!!! Wohooo!!!

    My Dad is 54. I agree with the jokes – my Dad would have me curled up on the living room floor laughing my socks off!

    He’d help with my Maths homework and go through it as many times as I needed to be able to understand it.

    Dads rock!

  18. Happy Birthday to a great guy who is really not old at all. Age is only a number. Great photos. What a great family you have!!! Live life to its fullest, remind yourself of life’s purpose, live for the future, and most of all laugh and have fun!!

  19. Happy birthday to Emily’s Dad from Heather in the great state of Texas, USA!! I hope you have had a wonderful birthday. May you have many more…

    Emily, what a special post. I’m sure your dad will treasure it always. 🙂

    1. Happy Birthday Paul. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter. I wish you and all of your family fun fond memories of today and for the entire year. Emily you are such a doll! This is such a great way to show your dad how much you love him.

  20. Awww, your dad is most definitely not old! 48 isn’t old! My parents are 62 and I don’t think of them as old, either! Age is relative! he’s 48 years young. 🙂

    What an amazing dad, though. We are so lucky to have such amazing fathers. it’s no coincidence that you are marrying a wonderful man – I think having a wonderful father helps us pick the right men. 🙂

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

  21. This was such a beautiful tribute to your dad! (And can I say, you look a lot like him! I definitely see the similiarities in your faces.) I’m close with my dad, but more than anything, this post reminded me of the bond I have with my mom. 🙂 You evoked so many emotions! I wish him a very Happy Birthday, and you’re a lucky, lucky girl to have someone so wonderful to call “dad.”

  22. Aw, I’m tearing up! There is something so special about a good father-daughter relationship. Gets me every time.

    Happy birthday Emily’s dad! 48 is definitely still young!

  23. I’ve written a number of these birthday love posts, and I gotta say this is one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Your dad kicks ass, hands down.

  24. You’re Dad is awesome! He’s so precious and is far from old!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY EM’S DAD!!! Hope you have a great day! 😀

  25. Hi Emily, I just stop by at your blog and read this article. I’m having a 2 years old daughter and I love her very much. Hope one day when she grows like your age, she will say the same thing like you said, “I’m proud of you daddy!” Love life live love! Greetings from Indonesia!

  26. Oh my I’m a little late but happy birthday! Your stories made me laugh so much, especially being taped to a pool float (which is our v. original name for it ha). What an incredible dad you have.

    Also not only is 48 most certainly NOT old, but he doesn’t even look 48. I thought, at first, that was you with an older brother in the 2nd and 3rd photos!

  27. What a wonderful tribute to your father! These tribute posts always seem to mean a whole lot more than anything else we write on our blogs. Happy (belated) birthday to your dad as he seems like a GREAT father. Treasure your relationship because it’s not often I run across a father who takes his job seriously.

  28. Belated happy birthday to your dad! Your post is so sweet and the best I’ve read so far. And your dad doesn’t look like a dad at all. He looks so young. 🙂

  29. Um, this is the cutest post in the world. I have a similar relationship to my dad. He’s closer to 60 now, so a bit older than your dad, but I recently caught him in his office listening to Pitbull, so.. y’know.

    Your new picture is gorgeous BTW!

  30. What a beautiful tribute, my eyes welled up reading this. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man and I’m happy you have so many special memories with him. I hope he enjoyed his special day.

    48 is nowhere near old. My parents are very close to this age and I’m forever reminding them the same thing. Reading this reminded me how much I miss my dad over on the other side of the pond. Cue flood of tears number 2.

    Yay for father-daughter relationships 😀

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