For four years of my life I was a wedding photographer. I have been to countless weddings, encountered many white gowns, numerous ring exchanges, and too many dances to recall. However, there is one moment during this wedding-filled season of my life that I remember quite vividly: As I watched the bride twirl around the dance floor with her father, tiny drops fell from my eyes and into my camera's viewfinder. I tried to stop but those traitor tears would not cease to flow as I could not shake the overwhelming knowledge of just how great of a father I had. Always patient, always gentle, always concerned with the condition of my heart, my dad has fathered in a way that leaves me without words. Standing there in the middle of this wedding, I remember distinctly wondering how in the world a man could love me as much as I was loved by my dad.
Thank you, Dad, for not only always saying I could do anything and everything I wanted to do, but through supporting me you lived as if that was an obvious reality. Thank you for loving me even when I was extremely, absolutely unlovable. Thank you for every time I screamed, stomped up the stairs, slammed my door, and you followed me; never complaining you sat and listened to my feelings even if it took me 45 minutes to convey them. You never defined me by my feelings or actions but only ever as Elisabeth, your daughter, which that has been the greatest gift and one of the greatest honors and roles given to me.
You have taught me generosity. You have taught me endurance. You have taught me slow angering patience. You have taught me that life throws you a lot of things and to only worry about what's important, the rest can be cast aside. And now as a woman out in this world I will do everything I can to use everything you have given me, which has made me who I am, to try and in turn bless others.
"If only I was musical. I would give up all my beauty to be musical! Not my fortune, but yeah, my beauty." - Frits
"Come on, family! If we get just a little more dysfunctional, they'll give us our own TV show!"- Frits
"You can do anything you want, no matter what anyone says. It's stupid to listen to those people anyway; it shows they don't know what they want. You do. You just work hard and you can do whatever you want to do." - Frits