all he hoped

My Dad is not very communicative or expressive; he's a pretty quiet guy. We can spend hours together without saying much of anything. Even now, when I live halfway around the world, I don't hear from him often. When I do, it's typically just a few lines in an email, but it means so much. Because for a few-words guy, those few words mean a lot.

He recently sent me a short email. There were eight words, though, that stopped me cold.

"You are everything I hoped you would be."

I couldn't stop myself from crying when I read that. I'm everything he hoped I would be?! I have a hard time hearing and receiving compliments as it is, but to hear that from my Dad was almost incomprehensible. My irrational brain told me he can't really mean it. Yet I know he was sincere. Genuine. Honest. Woah... It's almost too much to handle.

How can I be everything he hoped I would be when I'm not everything I hoped I would be?

I fall short in so many areas.

I've hoped I would be so much more than I am. A better wife. A better friend. A better missionary. Which makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to say that I am everything I hoped I would be. If I can't, does that mean I'm being irrational? Perfectionistic? Expecting too much? Or just practical? Realistic? Honest?

Isn't it good to aim high? "Shoot for the stars"? (No one expects to really hit them, do they?)

I'm not sure what to think about my constant hoping to be more than I am. But hearing my Dad tell me I'm all he hoped for, strengthened my heart. Gave me a new resolve. Made my heart smile real big.

I'll keep hoping to be more than I am. And in the meantime, I'll rest in the assurance that I make my Dad(s) proud.