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Image PHOTO BY KATHLEEN DUNCAN / VICTORIA ADVOCATE

Whenever a Victoria Advocate reader stops by to personally thank you for a story, it warms your heart.

It really does.

This afternoon, Vicky Zarate stopped by to thank me for a story I had written back in June about her dying father for Father's Day. Of the many letters and nominations we had received, his story definitely stood out.

Unfortunately he lost his battle in September.

I encourage you to read the original story.

I have to be honest, I had to bite my cheek as Vicky talked to me in the waiting area of our newsroom. I was on the verge of tears.

She stood there, explaining the last moment she spent with her father at 5:45 a.m. on Sept. 22.

This was a very intimate moment she felt I deserved to know.

The way it felt to hold his hand, the sound of his dying words. Still, she held her head up high and smiled.

For the two hours I got to know her father for the Father's Day feature, I instantly fell in love with him.

He was very much alive, despite his fast deteriorating health. He found humor in everything and refused to give up.

He told me many times during our interview how he spent his life loving and teaching his daughters to be strong. And strong they are.

You may never have an idea on how unbelievably wonderful it feels for a reporter to have a person stop by just to say "thank you."

Vicky told me how the entire family loved the story and applauded me for how well I captured their father's personality.

The story was something he found comfort in, too, and this means a lot.

Knowing that you've touched a family and have given them comfort during someone's last days is something you can't put a price on.

Yes, it's days like this I realize just how much I love my job.