Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Letter To My Father

Dear Dad,

I know that you won't ever get a chance to read this, not really anyway. The finality of death tells me this for sure. I'm still going to write it because this is what I do, and maybe...just maybe you have wifi wherever you are now. 

It's June. Again. By this point, though, it seems like there are so many pieces of the year that could give me some legitimate reason to be sad, except that you'd tell me to knock that off so I'm going to try. 

You weren't a big fan of the sads. 

There is this thing that a bunch of people in the internets are doing this year. Basically, all the bloggers are writing these lists of all the things their fathers taught them. The lists make me feel all the feelings for a few reasons. They make me miss you, sure. They make me grateful for all the lessons you taught me over the years, and maybe even more so for the ones you've kept teaching me since you left this earthly world. 

You really can see everything, can't you, even now?

Anyway, I guess there isn't much utility in me writing out a list like that, not now anyway. You're gone and this is the fourth Father's Day that you won't be around. That just seems impossible, by the way, that you've been gone all this time. 

For a while, I struggled with that sense of time. It would seem one day that you were just here, but then the next like you'd been gone forever. Now, it just feels like you've been gone too long. All the time. So many things have happened in those intervening years that it must have been this many years.

Which seems wrong. 

It almost seems more final now, this whole experience. It was as though before, back then, back when it was all fresher in our memories, I could almost trick myself into thinking that you were just here. Now, though, those days are gone. 

Since you left us that last time, so much has transpired. I know that Mom filled you in on a lot, and I hope that you two hashed out whatever you needed to and that things are as good as they could be now. I hope that I haven't let you down, either with all the things that happened with her or all the other things that happened. I made some huge decisions, I made some pretty big mistakes. I've fought tooth and nail to still be in this place and I hope that I haven't sacrificed too much of myself to do it. I don't think I have, but you were always pretty good at telling me when my perceptions were wrong. 

Then again, you were always my unlikeliest cheerleader too. 

I miss that. There were times in these past years that I would have given anything just to hear your words of encouragement one more time. 

Then there is now. This baby that is coming that will never have a chance to know you and it's not fair. That pesky lesson you spent so much time trying to teach me as a kid, one that I am still learning every day. 

It's strange to be in this place, bringing a child into the world without you. 

Stranger yet to be writing a sentence like that one. 

The Oldest has his first consultation with the orthodontist in a few hours, and I know already that I'm going to have a million questions that I would want to ask you. It took about a year for me to stop spontaneously dialing your number every time I walked out of the dentist's office. Every loose tooth here is bittersweet. Every single one, because every single one makes me think of you.

I miss you. 

They miss you. 

They've kept you alive as the tooth fairy just because they can and I let them, even if everyone else thinks we are crazy around here. 

Maybe we are crazy.

Maybe that's okay. 

A little crazy never hurt anyone. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad, wherever you are. I love you. 

Always your little girl,

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