Dear Daddy – A letter I needed to write
It feels like a lifetime since you left us here, figuring the world out without you. Over a decade has passed and yet every day will be the shortest time that you’ll ever be gone because as the days pass, so does the time since I last got to speak to you.
I’m writing a letter to the world who reads my blog because somehow, it feels like if I put my emotions out there, they’ll stop sitting like a lump in my throat that I can’t swallow. It’s making it hard to breathe. Harder to keep going, pretending that I’m fine.
Days have gone by and I can’t shake the sadness that I feel when I miss you. I won’t pretend that missing you hasn’t become easier. It has. I miss you quietly these days. Instead of in an all-consuming way. But for some reason, this week, this last short while has been a lot harder for me. I find myself wishing I could turn to you for advice. I find myself wondering what you’d say about everything going on in my life. I wish you could see me now, not that little girl that you knew. No, I’m a mom now dad. Did you ever see that happening?
I look at Oden growing so fast, learning to navigate the world and I find myself wishing that you could see him. That you could know him. I wonder how you’d have reacted to being a grandfather. I know you would have loved this little boy who wins the hearts of everyone. With his confident attitude and his belief that he can do anything and his gentle nature that stops to rub my foot when he hears me saying I hurt it. I wish you could see him as he tickles me and laughs out loud. I wish so much that you could have known him. I wish that he could have known you.
Oh dad! The world is so unfair. Here we are just doing the best we can and making the most out of it all. I’m struggling to write this down. It’s hard to see through the tears that I’ve been holding in for years. It’s hard to imagine a life with you in. The truth is, I just don’t know what that feels like anymore but I wish I could turn back time. I wish I could do things differently. I wish I could say things I didn’t say. Like I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not doing a better job of understanding the mistakes you’ve made. I’m sorry for being angry for the choices you made. I know now, that I’m older, maybe a little wiser, that life is hard. We’re all just doing the best we can.
I just really miss you dad, you know? The kind of missing that makes my heart feel broken. It hurts the most when I look at Oden and I know you will never know his little quirks. Like how he can’t stand having dirty hands but how he loves to play in the mud. How he is so bossy and if I’m honest, a little too much like me. How he makes little sighs as he sleeps. How he carries his “bunny” all over the place. Dragging it through the sand. That thing is the most loved soft toy in the world. You’d laugh if you heard him shouting “yayayayayay” in delight when you offer him an apple. An apple dad. He’s so excited by the world. I hope that never changes.
I don’t know what life would be like if you were here but I think you’d agree with a lot of the choices I’ve had to make. I think you’d approve or maybe I just tell myself that to give myself peace of mind. I’ll never really know either way. It’s your birthday this month. I forget how old you’re turning. I guess it doesn’t matter, you’ll always be 46 in my mind.
You’ll always be that big strong man from my childhood. You’ll always be perfectly preserved and faultless. That’s the one blessing of being dead. People remember all the good parts. They let go of the parts that make them sad. But I miss your good and I miss your bad parts too. I miss your short temper and your passion for life. I miss all of you. Your bad singing voice and your goofy smile that made everything better.
This letter is going all over the place I know. It’s hard to follow some sort of format when my heart is aching. It’s hard to make sense in my writing when my heart is broken. The world is unfair and we’re all just plodding along doing the best that we can.
I miss you dad.