There are many different types of love experienced in one’s lifetime. The love of a father, the love of a mother, and the love of a sibling.
One of those most influential loves I’ve experienced is the bond between a father and a daughter. My dad has been someone I have looked up to since my first steps, to my first car, and my first job. He has been my biggest supporter, greatest encourager, and the most wonderful role model.
My dad has always been the rock in our family. He keeps us all together laughing and enjoying every moment we have with each other. Growing up, my family and I lived on property in East Texas that my dad had purchased when I was just a baby. I watched him work day and night to maintain a ranch, run a full-time business and provide for his family.
Through my dad, I knew that anything I could put my mind to was possible. When my dad was young, he didn’t have much, but he worked every day of his life so he could one day give his family everything.
My dad gets his work ethic and determination from his father, who passed away before I was born. Once my grandfather passed away, my dad took over the family company and created an empire that has excelled for years.
I’ve seen just how passionate my dad is about his work. He has been a constant encourager for me to pursue a career in the business industry. He has taught me everything I need to know to become a successful business woman.
My first summer home after my freshman year of college, my dad sat me and my brother down in my room. I knew it wasn’t going to be a pleasant conversation because my dad was out of character.
He proceeded to tell us that in April 2019, he had been diagnosed with polycythemia vera – an incurable blood cancer. After tears rolled down our faces and questions poured out of our mouths, we hugged. He told us that without treatment, the disease is life-threatening. Instead, he would attend weekly doctor visits to get his blood drawn.
Throughout the summer, I watched my dad’s personality slowly deteriorate. He was in a constant state of drowsiness and wasn’t able to do the things he once could. He was short of breath and never left the house. Our entire family dynamic was completely altered that summer. Now that my dad was incapable of doing things he once could, we all were.
I also watched my brother’s personality regress. He was in a constant state of sadness without having our dad around to do the things he once could. My brother didn’t have anyone to throw the football with, hunt, or just help with maintenance on his car. By the end of the summer, I began helping my brother with these daily tasks that my dad once did.
I spent countless hours wondering if I would go back to school, or what the right thing to do was. I talked to my mom, brother and dad, who began to tell me that these were some of the years and memories I could never get back. My dad stressed that he wasn’t as fortunate to get an education, and that is why it took him so long to become successful in the business industry.
Last summer was one that I will never forget. Instead of tropical islands and sandy beaches, my family and I stayed in the comfort of our own home unknowing that it would make us all so much closer. We shared tears, laughs and hugs that we will cherish for years to come. I truly grasped the constant of family and just how important they are.
My dad is someone I will forever look up to. He has instilled countless traits in me, and I can never repay him. My dad brings a sense of security to our home and a constant light of joy to us all.
My dad and I have always been close, but our summer spent at home was filled will moments that will last a lifetime. I learned to never take one moment for granted with your peers and friends, but most importantly your family.
Ally Ehrman, 19, is a sophomore general business major minoring in journalism. Her goal is to work in the fashion industry. She chose Ole Miss because of the lively campus, friendly people and education it would give her.
Ehrman is an active member of the Greek organization Tri Delta. She is also involved in Women in Business, a school-affiliated organization promoting the success of college women. She is a member of the University of Mississippi Fashion Society Club.
Ehrman grew up in a suburb of Houston, Texas called Friendswood – the same town both of her parents are from. High school wasn’t an easy four years, but she learned many lessons that would carry her through her college years.
Throughout her four years at Friendswood High School, Ally was a member of the varsity golf team. Golf was a sport she had been playing since she was 6, learning from her mom and grandfather.
One of her biggest role models is her father, who she said dropped out of high school sophomore year, never finished college, but has become one of the most successful businessmen in the city of Houston. She said he is a dedicated man and continues to share advice and business tactics with his daughter, who hopes to follow in his footsteps.
Ehrman is excited for another joyful year at the University of Mississippi. She has created bonds that will last a lifetime and made memories she will cherish forever. Oxford is a community like no other college town – locals enjoy the students presence, and the students are eager to get to know them.