A Tribute to My Father: The First Good Man I Ever Loved

Nicole Johnson has so much to be grateful for in her father. These are just some of the reasons: a Father’s Day gift of thanks.

James Andreottola is my father and the first good man I have ever loved. It’s because of the man he is and the example he set, that I am able to love men with deep passion and appreciation.

At 37 years old, I’m still “daddy’s little girl”, and you know what, I love it. I did not enter the world through his body, but I entered the world through his heart. The bond we share is unlike any other connection.


Dad, I love you for an infinite number of reasons. I feel so blessed to have you as my father and I’m thankful for the wonderful life you have given me. In honor of Father’s Day, I would like to celebrate you: a magnificent man, a loyal, loving husband, a devoted father, and a true friend. Please know that my list of gratitude is endless and continues to grow with each passing day.

Thank you for falling madly in love with Charlene Campo and marrying her 41 years ago. Thank you for showing me that news headlines are not the norm; men can actually love women faithfully and unconditionally – for a lifetime.

Thank you for knowing you wanted to be a father.

Thank you for providing me with a never-ending sense of physical safety and emotional security whenever I’m with you, even if we are with my husband.

Thank you for constantly showering me with heartfelt hugs and kisses. And to this day, thanks for squeezing my cheeks so hard I sometimes yelp, “Ouch, Dad!”

Thank you for crying in front of me when I was 9 years old when you found out your father had died.

Thank you for encouraging me to play on the boy’s baseball team because there was not a girl’s baseball team for my age group.

Thank you for leaving work early to watch me play sports, and thank you for always cheering so loud that I knew it was undeniably your voice emanating from the bleachers.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of health and exercise.

Thank you for raising me to be a die-hard Boston sports fan, and thanks for allowing me to watch you cry when the Red Sox lost to the Mets in the 1986 World Series.

Thank you for being an overprotective father from the time I was an infant until present day. For the record, there was no way I was going to fall into the Grand Canyon; we were on an observation deck! However, the grip you had on the back of my T-shirt still impresses me to this day.

Thank you for teaching me the power of humor and how to effectively tell a joke.

Thank you for teaching me the significance of “knowing my audience”, and when appropriate, the power of dropping a well enunciated f-bomb in proper company.

Thank you for changing the massive surgical bandage after my surgery because Mom could not stomach the site of the stitches, the dried blood, the swelling, and the black, purple and yellow discoloration.

Thank you for always telling me I am beautiful.

Thank you for working two jobs for 18 years to provide our family with a comfortable lifestyle. Thank you for always kissing me on the cheek to say goodnight when you came home from your bartending shifts at 2 A.M.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of humility, and the remarkable power of emotional and financial generosity.

Thank you for stressing the importance of education. When you went back to college for your second master’s degree, you showed me that it is never too late to change careers.

Thank you for telling me to “shake it off” when you knew I was not in dire physical pain.

Thank you for embarrassing me and Liz when you picked us up for spring break during our freshman year of college. The image I have of you incessantly yelling, “Girls, daddy’s here!” for the entire length of Evergreen Drive—with half of your body leaning out the station wagon window—is permanently seared into my memory.

Thank you for teaching me about politics and political parties. Thank you for resisting the urge to convince me to vote for your candidate.

Thank you for never lying to me.

Thank you for loving your brother and teaching me the importance of loving those who are not like you. Thank you for showing me that a person’s sexual orientation is part of their soul and should never affect the love you have for them.

Thank you for loving and accepting Uncle Joe’s husband.

Thank you for loving and accepting my husband.

Thank you for loving and accepting me and always making me feel like I am good enough.

Thank you for showing me what is means to be a good man, a great teacher, an extraordinary husband, and an outstanding father for the past 37 years of my life.

I love you, Dad.


Read more Father’s Day stories on The Good Life.

Photo courtesy of the author

About Nicole Johnson

Marketing Maven » Sales Consultant » Brand Builder » Energetic Entrepreneur » Networking Enthusiast » Writer » Wife » Good Men Advocate


  1. nice one

  2. I was crying when I read this. Not all girls are lucky to have a Daddy like that. Throughout my Life I have realized, no matter how much money and wealth you have with you if you don’t have good family moments a loving dad and a caring mother, you always feel incomplete. And trust me that feeling sucks.

  3. Colleen says:

    What an unbeliavble article to read:) Great jjob!!!!

  4. What a special tribute to your father. You are lucky to have each other! I lost my father in 2010, and I think about him every day. Here’s the new lyrics to Hallelujah that I wrote when he died: http://singleagainonlinediary.blogspot.com/2010/09/hallelujah-for-dad.html
    Cherish every minute with the people you love!

  5. Nicole,
    I hope one day, my daughter feels a fraction of the respect for me as you do for your dad. Happy Father’s Day, James Andreottola. -Erik

  6. Loved this post. Great writing and great parenting. Just awesome!


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