She should have made it to the restaurant ten minutes earlier. She just did not want to get up and go to work. The bitter cold temperatures and the whipping wind teased her, chided her to stay in the confines of her home, but she was determined - hell bent on a dose of family.
She threw on her overcoat and zipped out the door, looking forward to the impromptu breakfast date.
As she approached the glass-front building, she scanned the faces for the one warm expression of love, waiting for the girl in a booth with a cup of coffee and the morning paper.
He was always there for her, in a literal sense and also in the figurative support that you expect from a father. Unfortunately the world doesn't always dish out fairy tales. Some fathers are heartless, others are self-important and neglectful.
But not this girl's dad.
In his younger years, he sacrificed his pride and his time to do a job that did more than put food on the table for his family. This dad dished out hugs and encouragement and words of advice - even when this girl was a teen and didn't want to listen.
This morning, though, it was different. The girl was wiser and anxious to spend time with one of the few people in the world who knew her heart. Someone who knew about her brains and drive and goals and interests. Someone who always had her best interest in mind.
There was a time when this girl worried about how long her dad would be around. Worried whether he would survive a ticking time bomb in his brain, a tumor that grew and grew and grew every single day.
But time and God were good to her, and good to her Dad. Blessing them both with a little more time to love and learn from each other.
I love you, Dad.