Friday, September 10, 2010

Dear Daddy,

It seems like just yesterday you were here, and yet also like a lifetime ago.

So much has happened, so much has changed. 4 years of moving on. At least trying to. Trying to make sense of a world that hasn't had you in it.

You would be in awe of your grandson. Even though he has been in school since you have gone, he started at MY old school. He got on the school bus without so much as a hesitation. No fear.

He has his first soccer game on Saturday. I can see you now on the sidelines, cheering him on. Funny since I don't recall you going to any of my games, but I know you would go to his. And he would have been so excited to have had you there. Running around, showing off for your benefit.

I moved a year ago, into a better place and closer to mom. I know you would have wanted me to take care of her, and I have been doing my best. All 3 of us have in our own ways.

She wasn't the same when you left us. Her sarcasm and humor only came back really the past couple years. Her health though has declined; I guess she needed to pick up where you left off! But don't worry, Todd and I have been taking her to all her appointments and making sure she's ok. (She hasn't been able to drive since you've been gone.)

But like you, I advocate for her, and for myself. I make the calls to get things done, set the appointments and make sure nobody is getting screwed over. And when they do, well let's just say you taught me well in the art of forceful negotiations.

I inherited your heart dad. Literally. Your former cardiologist is mine now. I have been "blessed" with the family genes and I too could follow your footsteps. I also learned from you. Learned what NOT to do when it comes to my doctors. I listen to what they tell me. I follow their directions. If they don't want me to do something, I don't do it. I don't want the same fate as you. I can't bear the thought of leaving Dylan like you left us.

I'm in love, did you know that? I never thought I would ever feel like I do with him dad. He was there for me after you had gone, and he’s never left. My best friend. I never thought I'd ever find anyone you'd have approved of dad, but you would. I know you would. He's kind and funny and is a great guy. I mean, guys can all be idiots, but he's a good one overall. He's a great dad, and Dylan loves him.

I have done so much that I hope has made you proud dad. I have learned, although by the skin of my teeth, to stand on my own. I always thought I could never do anything on my own, yet I have been all along.

After you left I got myself a car, a better paying job. I put Dylan through school. I dealt with the drama of everything that happened with his dad (and I know you never liked that situation) all by myself. I went to court; I proved I could handle a major thing without you holding my hand dad.

I had a lot of downs though in there. I lost people along the way, I gained others. I found strength in myself and in my own abilities as an adult. Scary to think of myself that way, but in hindsight I guess it's true.

Don't think for a second because I have done so much on my own I haven't felt like I needed you dad. I always need you. I always will.

I miss the way you would whistle through your teeth, even though at the time it was annoying as hell. I miss how you would say "lever mind" instead of "never mind". How you would rhyme and sing-song everything you did, from talking to the dog or to Dylan as a baby.

I miss that you would call people and ask "is this you?" when they answered the phone. How your belly would shake when you laughed really hard, like that day Dylan was laying on you and you laughed so hard he just started gyrating on your abdomen and that made us all laugh harder.

I miss that whenever I was sick or injured you were always with me at the hospital or the doctor, even into my mid 20's. Like the consummate medical professional.

I wish you were still here to ask about Dylan going to your shop to play with sawdust.

About your shop dad, you would be SO proud of Todd. When you died, you were working on a couple of things and he stepped up and finished your work. He took over your shop and made it his own. He's made such beautiful things dad, you wouldn't believe it! I guess he inherited that talent from you. Who would have guessed? (Don’t worry though; he's still a royal pain in the ass so not THAT much has changed).

I wish that when I talked to you now dad, you were able to answer. That when I look to you for advice or guidance I am not just talking aloud to myself or to a stone etched with your name on it in a cemetery. I wish that when I had doubts or fears you could help me make sense of them, in your own Suessical way.

I even wish you were around to yell and scream at me. To fight with me. Our mirrored tempers battling out against each other. You fought with me because you loved me dad. Because you didn't want me to screw up, because you wanted better things for me. I know that now.

So 4 years later, I just wanted you to know that it still hurts that you're gone. That not a day goes by when I don't look at your pictures upon my walls. That Dylan still talks about his "Papa in Heaven", and that you are missed more than you would ever imagine.

I love you.


Daddy's Little Girl


  1. April this is Beautiful. Time does heal, but the missing and wishing they were here never goes away. I stll miss my dad every day and he has been gone for 14 yrs. Your dad would be very proud of the women that you have become. And your beautiful son.


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