Dear Daddy: Remembering My Father

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Five years ago today, I was at work. I was afraid of losing my job. But mainly, I was afraid of losing my father.

So I went to the office to distract myself from the latter while trying to prevent the former.

My friend told me to go. To spend as much time as possible with him.

As it turns out, I would end up losing both.

I went home to try and nap a little. I didn’t know how long he had left and I don’t do well on no sleep. But I couldn’t. I was terrified that by the time I got there it would be too late.

So I rushed to my parent’s house.

And waited.

And as I waited, I wrote a letter to him. A letter which I was blessed to have been able to read to him before he passed.

We watched my father take his last breath at 12:26 a.m. on August 4, 2012.

So as I remember him on this day, I wanted to share the letter I wrote him.

Dear Daddy:

My heart is breaking as I write this. Although you’ve been sick for some time and I’ve tried to mentally prepare for this day, I don’t think anything I could have done would have prepared me for the sorrow and emptiness I’m feeling. The hopelessness. The helplessness.

I vacillate between wanting to spend your last moments with you. Needing to be there when you pass. And needing to run away from myself. Wanting to crawl out of my skin. Away from this pain. And I know that’s selfish. Becuase you’re going to a better place. A place where you’ll no longer feel pain. Or be trapped in this body that has betrayed you for so long.

And it’s selfish because mom needs me to be strong. After caring for you for so long, she needs to be taken care of. Especially now that she’s losing her companion of 44 years. The ride wasn’t always smooth. But you stuck by each other. And no matter what, you were always there for us.

So as I sit by your side and see your life reduced to a few pictures strategically chosen to show you in your youth, with your wife, with your children, and your grandchildren that I count myself blessed to have had you be able to meet – I can’t help but be sad.

This is so final. I will never be able to see your face again. Or joke around with you. All I’ll have left of you are these pictures. And my memories. And the regret that we didn’t get a chance to make more.

I hope you know how very much you were loved. Are loved. And how very much you will be missed by all who were fortunate to have known you.

I love you, Daddy


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