June 17, 2011 at 9:16 AM ET
As we head toward Father's Day this Sunday, we've heard about awesome dads and awkward dads. Now the TODAY hosts are opening up and talking about their own fathers, and what their dad's love means to them. (We're happy to report there's way more awesome than awkward.)
Here's what Natalie, Savannah, Tamron and Al have to say about dads, in their own words. Check out their adorable photos, below. Share your own thoughts on Father's Day in the comments. And visit our TODAY Moms Facebook page later today for the chance to send us your own great dad photos. Happy Father's Day, everyone!
"As a military father he was strict ... and especially as a Hispanic military father, very strict. But my father loves having a good time. Still, 'til this day, there's no one who loves a roller coaster more. ...Fourteen years ago my father had a stroke at 51 and he nearly died, and it was three months before my wedding. At that time they weren't sure he was going to be able to walk me down the aisle and he showed the strength. He kept saying every day, 'I'm gonna be there, I'm gonna walk you down the aisle.' Needless to say it made for a very emotional wedding; but I'm so lucky and blessed that God spared him on that day, and he's been able to see his grandkids. Fourteen years later he's in perfect health and you would never know, and that's exactly who my dad is, he's a survivor."
"My dad passed away three years ago... He was my stepfather, but he's the only dad I've ever known. And we never said 'step-dad,' I was his girl... The last time my father saw me on television, I was filling in on the TODAY show and he was in the hospital. So this show means a lot to me for many reasons, but it was the last time my dad saw me. I wish him a Happy Fathers Day -- they hear us, and they're so proud of their girls."
"When I was 16 years old, my dad had a heart attack and passed away. I was just ending my junior year of high school, and my whole world changed. I just kind of look at that as a key moment in my life. There was when we had my dad and then everything that happened afterwards. I think when you lose someone very young it gives a different view of the world. ...He put a lot of love into our family and he is still missed just as much as the day we lost him. I would love to tell my father, 'Happy Father's Day.' I would want him to know that we're all OK, and his kids still love him and still miss him."
"My father was a bus driver, and he would take me on the bus with him when I was off from school, and I would go to the depot and hang out -- it was fun. ...I've got siblings who are adopted, siblings who are biological, and those siblings all have children, and I can say with all honesty that he and my mother both treated each one of us the same, in that there was no differentiation. I always kind of scratch my head when I hear people say 'this is my stepdaughter,' or 'this is my adopted son,' you know, my father said, 'this is my son, this is my grandson, this is my granddaughter.' That was who he was. ...The thing that I would pass onto other dads that I inherently learned from my father, was that you cannot hug and kiss your children enough. That's the gift that keeps giving."