Adria Z and her dad Mike Raymond, aka Daddy O, have a special relationship.
“When I was a kid, my dad was a huge part of my life,” Adria said. “He is one of those dads who make it look easy (and believe me, having a daughter like me was anything but easy!) My dad has worked for The Imaging Center in Fort Wayne for over 20 years. He worked hard to support his family but worked even harder to be a rock for his three girls. He has always been my go-to person, and I am beyond thankful for everything he has taught me and tried to teach me and the time he spent with me through the years.
What is your favorite childhood memory of your dad?
One of my favorite childhood memories is our many adventures to the river. My dad would take my sisters and me to the St. Mary’s River, either in our radio-flyer wagon, by bicycle or walking (with a walking stick found on the way, of course). One of my favorite trips included wrangling up as many “Whooly worms” as possible and adding them to the wagon, which of course they tried to climb out of. The wagon was covered, my sister was covered and their escape plan was definitely working.
How has your relationship with your dad change over your lifetime?
As much as my dad has been my rock, we have had our rocky moments. As a child, I thought he knew and had the answers for everything—and he did. When I was a teenager, he knew nothing. (Face palm!) Now that I am an adult, we have our differences but he, and my Grandma Daphne, have always kept me somewhat grounded.
How has your dad influenced your life?
My dad has influenced my life by constantly being THERE for my sisters and me. He helped me see the sun through the rain, the diamonds in the rough, the light at the end of the tunnel, and THEE bigger picture. He has always had a great way of calming those around him and helping them through whatever life had thrown their way.
What qualities do you share with your dad?
Empathy. My dad has taught me to try to be considerate and understanding of others, which is always a work in progress.
Does your dad have a favorite quote or mantra?
Something to the effect of, “does that make life better for anyone” and “be a good human.” I’m very lucky. My dad is a great dude.