My hero is my dad.
Growing up, I often argued with him. Blow out matches over things I cannot remember. One argument in particular occurred in college where I was screaming at him over the phone for a good hour. My tantrum was so spectacular that my then roommate still remembers it to this day.
As I matured, my arguments with my dad lessened in frequency and intensity. Then one day out of the blue he took me aside and apologized to me about all the mistakes he made as a father. That was the turning point of our relationship. I now recognize his good qualities in addition to his flaws.
Out of all the lessons he tried to teach me only three things stuck: (1) A person must have integrity (2) A person must strive to continue learning (3) Nothing is that hard if you just face it. The three lessons stuck because my dad talked the talk and walked the walk. As a parent that may be the best way to teach your kids.
So here is to you Dad. I love you and will always be your little girl. The picture below is my first Christmas in NYC taken at Rockerfeller Center.