You loved him.
You really did; and you miss him every day. In fact, your personal life is laden of reminders of how much you loved your father. To you, he is a symbol of strength and a pillar of your family; to you, he is someone to look up to, who set an example, who everyone loved, and who is so dearly missed by your community, by your siblings, by your children. To you, he is someone who gave you the right kind of love, who would have beat the shit out of anyone who hurt you or broke your heart. You were his little girl and you know he is up there looking down on you. You sent him into the after-life with a proper funeral to ensure he didn’t die alone, to ensure he felt loved, to ensure that he was welcomed into the place you think is heaven. All this, for a man you loved who taught you how to fall for someone who would treat you right, who gave nothing but pure love. You adored his “good heart” and you loved his spirit and humour and charming nature. You loved everything about your father. What a wonderful person he was.
Because of your father raising you right and bringing you up and being there for you when you needed him, you were strayed away from wandering into the hands of adults who would hurt you and demonstrate to you sex and pain and words of cruelty and belittlement; you were spared the pain of having to keep a terrifying secret that you never construed as terrifying until it was too late; you were saved the self-realization that you’re a “victim”, that you’re “damaged”, that you’re not worthy of love because no one wants some used girl who is awkward and emotionally and physically stunted and messed up in the head and weird inside and confused about her own romantic and sexual life. You never have to reflect upon losing your romantic interests and think, “I did this to myself because I was black-marked from an early age and no one wants to, or can ever love me that way.” None of those concerns are yours. Because you had a loving, giving father who gave up so much for you, so you would be able to stand at his funeral and say nothing but wonderful, whimsical things and memories and wishes and prayers and odes.
If only you knew… if only you knew.