Yesterday was my first Father’s Day without my dad. I wish I could say we had a great tradition for him on this day, but it was always pretty low key. Still, I found myself in a bit of a funk all day. I’m not sure if it was specifically because I was missing him, or another reason. I can say that, although I don’t think that I truly appreciated him for all his worth while he was still around, I definitely have been thinking about him a lot lately and missing him, especially these past couple of months.
It sounds weird, but I guess I was kind of expecting some sort of sign from him. Some sense that he was around, some unexplained activity, but…. nothing. I suppose it’s made me feel a little sad and abandoned. I know, crazy, right? It also doesn’t help that I’ve been watching so much Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead lately…. that show always makes me cry!
Despite me not “feeling” him, I do believe that he can observe me & my life, and that maybe I’m just not as open to his way of communicating as I would like to be. Again…. crazy, right? Anyway, for this reason, I would just like to take the opportunity to let him know that I might not have told him enough how much I loved him or appreciated him when he was with us, but I really would like to now. I don’t know if it’s too late, but it’s certainly worth a try. So….
I would really like to thank you for being the best dad that you knew how to be. That may not sound like a great compliment, but it is. Now that I am a parent, I realize how difficult it is. You worked so hard to provide for us, and you were always so proud and quick to brag to whomever would listen. Your kindness towards other people was inspiring. You had a heart of gold, and an innocence about you that is rare in this world. There was not a cynical bone in your body, and I truly do believe that you always had a clear conscience (that’s why you always slept so well!). I smile when I often see you in Max, especially when he is so eager to share his knowledge of the world.
I am truly sorry if I did not live up to your expectations of what a good daughter should be. Not that you would ever, ever say anything so critical to me or anyone else. You always took criticism with such grace and dignity, even when it wasn’t fair or warranted, which was most of the time. You never retaliated. You were perceived as such a simple person; I realize now that your simplicity was not a flaw, but a reflection of your purity of spirit.
I am sorry that I was not there at the very end. To this day, it is one of my biggest regrets. The truth is, I wanted to be, but I was scared. I had never witnessed first hand anyone leave this world, much less a parent, and I didn’t know if I could handle it. If I had thought it through more, I would’ve sucked it up, because whatever I was going through couldn’t have been scarier than what you were experiencing. You didn’t deserve the suffering you endured, but I hope that you were aware that we were there as much as possible, and tried our best to surround you with all our love. We truly believed that your essence was gone before your physical body gave up the fight.
I know you are happy now. I just know because you can’t be the person you are without being happy. You’ve always deserved the best, and I hope you now have it. I hope you can forgive me for all of my flaws and selfish expectations of you, because I know now how lucky I was to have had you in my life and as my father. I just wish I had the guts to tell you this face to face when I had the chance.
I love you, dad, and thank you for all of the love you provided to me. Happy Father’s Day.
It’s funny how death can strip away all of the inconsequential technicalities of a relationship and leave you with just love & appreciation of a person. There is a lesson in the irony of it all…. a lesson that is a cliche for a reason: You don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone. OK, now I need to go get a tissue…