"Good Morning! Happy Birthday!", Dad very enthusiastically exclaimed with a big ole smile on his face, when he heard that i was awake.
He came by the sofa where i was half sleep with gift in hand, while i squeaked with delight and covered my mouth with my dog scented blanket.
"Good morning, and get up." He stood there and offered his hand to pull me to a sitting position.
"Can i just...". His voiced trailed off slightly awkwardly and said, "... just, hug...". Dad held his arms open in a gesture inviting me to hug him. And we embraced. Messy hair, out of bed smell, half consciousness and all.
It's been so long since my dad ever hugged me for anything at all. It's been years.
Especially since the saga in my family that we are still healing from, it means so much to me for my dad to reach out to hug his (still hurting) daughter.
Even as i type this, i realize the risk he took, the pride he (maybe?) needed to swallow and as I think about it, it brings fresh tears to my eyes.