Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dear Dad

Dear Dad;
I am missing you big time today. So many people have told me that grief comes in waves. If that’s true, today’s waves were the kind that take you down with them, swoop you under the water so that you can barely breathe. It would have been a Red Flag warning on the beach in Fort Walton, for sure. As I sat in my cancer committee meeting I thought of you, and got this pang in my chest of missing you. After I saw the memorial for Laurence I so badly wanted to call you to tell you about it. As I sat in a talk on fighting for cancer treatment fairness I thought of you and your fight, and how I wish you could be sitting next to me in those types of talks. I also had a deep desire to know if I am making you proud. I just want to hear you say those words again. Then, I got a phone call from one of the hospital staff that I work with and he said “I sent you a note...” that’s what you used to say! You always said note in reference to an email or a text. I found myself starting to tear up just hearing the word note! When I got to my workout class I tried to see if I had any old voicemails from you just so I could hear your voice again, talking to me. I don’t. I do have the last text you ever sent me, which is your response to me saying “love you”. Your answer was “right back atcha”.

I just miss you, dad. I miss your hugs and encouragement, I even miss your silly jokes and puns. I miss telling you about my day, making you dinner, taking you to church. Maureen recently said that she finds herself wanting to tell everyone about you. I didn’t realize it until she said it, but Ive been doing the same thing. It’s important for me to tell your story. I want people to know what a wonderful dad and human you were. You were truly the greatest.

I have recently found myself having a very deep desire for connecting to others. Finding common ground. I’m not sure if it’s from your influence, or feeling something missing in my life, but I have been wanting to find and connect with people like I never had before. You were such a natural at that. I’m not so natural. But I’m trying.

I mentioned earlier that I want to make you proud. I want to be as kind and fair as you were. I want to make people feel as welcomed and loved as you made them feel. I want to fight hard because you fight like hell. I want to stand tall, breathe in your confidence and compassion and put it back into the world.

I know there will be more days like this, where I’ll miss you so much it hurts. And I know you’re here with me, but that doesn’t always take away the hurt. So I will carry your spirit with me as best I can and be ever so grateful that I was lucky enough to have you as a dad.

Love you.

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