Dear Dad

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I’m sorry you died yesterday.  I am glad it was peaceful and that you were home in your chair watching TV.  I hope you weren’t scared and that your mind was at rest.

I wish I could have told you all of this earlier and I wish we would have had a different relationship.  You know the kind you see on TV with little girls dancing on their dad’s feet or a Dad walking his daughter down the aisle.  I do know you loved me but you kept me at a distance because you lived in fear of losing me.  Neither of us had the skill to communicate our needs but I will probably spend the rest of my life wishing it were something it could never be.

What you missed was that I grew up to be someone amazing.  The illness that scared you so much and kept you at arm’s length away was also the thing that gave me strength and taught me to fight. It taught me positivity and creativeness.  I know as a parent it must of been so hard on you but you never realized it was a huge part of what made me who I am today and I’m good with that.

What you also missed were the things I learned from you….  I still only like my Coke with a slice of lime.  I love a great meal and always order too much to eat at a restaurant.  And if you are going down south…finding Sonny’s Barbecue is a must.

My quick wit is incredible.  (Like my humbleness.) The gift of story telling will be part of your legacy I carry.  (As will be my ability to elaborate every story to make it a little bit more interesting.)

I am a lifelong Cub’s fan and am happy that we were able to talk during the World Series.  You gave me a fashion sense and love for shoes. (That may or may not be a good thing.)  You taught me that it is nice to start a conversation with everyone from my cab driver to a stranger in an elevator.  Most importantly, I’m wickedly good at backgammon and I regret we never got to play again.

There was a lot I acquired from you….good and bad…some happy…some sad.  I did love you, Dad.

My favorite memories will be the ones from my early childhood like when I’d sit on your lap while you finished your work or how proud you were of me when I played basketball.  Your balloon bouquets in the hospital were epic and trips to Dunkin Donuts to get the newspapers on Sunday were the best.  I loved being one of your little Indians.  I loved being a Felt girl.

There are a lot of emotions that come up with grief and this is just the first step for me to deal with it all.  People talk about losing their parents but it is rare that people also talk about the fractures that will never mend.  I’m not sure time would have fixed it all but I wish we would have made some different choices and given it a better try.

I am grateful you left me with two older sisters.  We are all different women who had varying relationships with you and hope this is one of those life experiences that makes us closer…that would be the last gift you will have left us with.

You touched and changed a lot of people’s lives and essentially that is the point of being alive.

I hope you are at peace and I will work toward finding it too.

Love your baby girl,

Barb

PS. You made a bet with me years ago that I was going to die first….I’m not sure if this means I won or lost but I do still have the quarters you bet me.