Let me preface this letter to my dad by saying that he passed away in 1986 at the age of 41. RIP Dad 12/19/44 ~ 9/14/86
Hi Dad, I heard your favorite song today. (Country Roads by John Denver) *video courtesy of YouTube* It made me cry and I knew I needed to finally write to you. I know that a lot of years have gone by since you left this world. I think about you often and have wished that you were still around so I could share all the cool things that have happened in my life. I hope that you would be proud of me. I went to computer school after high school and got a job with the phone company, although I graduated with honors I never did get a job in computer operations. But the job I got in the mail room at the phone company was an excellent job with lots of opportunities. I had to leave that job after 9 years when I had Shelby.
Remember shortly after I had Shelby? I know you were there in my apartment, well it wasn’t the ‘physical’ you since you had been gone for close to 8 years by then, but I saw you. I woke up with a feeling that I wasn’t alone and when I rolled over and opened my eyes you were there…plain as day, for just the briefest of moments. I know I got scared and you left quick because you didn’t want me to be scared. But after that I have wanted to see you again. I have had so much to tell you over the years. I know you and mom still loved each other when you got divorced, and I understand how fast time can go by especially when you lived so far away from us after that. Being 9 when you and mom divorced and not seeing you much until you were sick when I was 17, I know you never stop loving us. I know that because the last time I saw you I felt it in your fragile body when you hugged me so tight despite being so weak and sick. You called me ‘your baby’ and you told me every detail of the day I was born. With tears in your eyes you said it was the happiest day of your life! I wish now that I had spent more time just talking to you and holding your hand. I never got the chance to have the connection with you like Tobi did when she went to stay with you. I regret that and wish I knew then what I know now about treasuring each and every moment as the next is not guaranteed.
Can you believe I have 3 kids? I wish they could know you. I think you would have so much fun spoiling them and being silly with them like you did with us. I tell them all the things I remember about you. Shelby graduated from high school and is taking full-time classes online while she works to provide for her own daughter. Yes, I am a grandmother!! I have a granddaughter, her name is Felicity. Can you believe your little girl is a Nana?! I sometimes can’t believe it either. She is beautiful, smart and very active. I can just picture you holding your great-granddaughter I bet she would love the bunny rabbit face you used to do for us. Then there is Ryan who is a freshman in high school. He is so smart dad, and despite his issues with ADHD he truly is a good kid. He is very talented in music, he is a percussionist. He plays in all the bands they have at school. (pep band, marching band, jazz band and concert band). Oh and he can sing as well. Then there is my baby, she looks just like I did as a kid, her name is Elizabeth and she is kind, loving and smart. She too is very involved in music. She plays clarinet just like Shelby did. She prefers singing though and she has quite a good voice. I am so proud of them all and I know if you were here you would be beaming with pride too.
I married a really wonderful man, daddy. He is so amazing, and I know you would love him so much. He is a Navy man like you were! He cherishes me like no other person ever has (besides you) . He makes me happy, he takes care of me, he loves me and he respects me. He is kind, generous and he loves my kids as if they were his own flesh and blood. I wish we had met earlier in my life but I think that we all must go through things to get to the place we need to be for things to mesh just perfectly.
I really wish that diabetes didn’t steal you from us. I remember sitting with you during dialysis, you were so weak and tired. You fought hard and I know it just stole your physical self. It didn’t take your spirit. I miss you dad and I will love you forever!!
I hope you forgive me for not being able to come to your funeral, we couldn’t afford it and it has always haunted me. I hope someday in the not too distant future to be able to finally visit your grave, I am sad that I never got to say goodbye.
Love you always,
Your daughter Melissa