It is me once again knocking, celebrating you in my own way.
I have no idea where you are, where He has taken you, what you are doing. Humm, for all I know you could be riding a bicycle or at the library, who knows but you?! Oh, how I wished you could read this one more letter but fate had it differently. Your carousel has stalled, the music stopped and the bell, no longer ringing.
I just wanted to tell you how much I love you, how much I miss you, our talks, your wisdom, your smarts, your brightness.
I miss being your child.
Dad, I miss running to you with my worries and hearing your thoughts whenever crucial decisions bothered me. I remember you sitting silently, listening with your left arm folded and slightly biting into your right thumb, your eyes closed, immersed in your thoughts… I don’t know what your were thinking about? I just know that you never judged or preached but were always ready to give me some advice. They were free but at times, very expensive.
Our shared values are still with me. I embrace them. I treasure them. They ring on my ears nonstop.
Authoritarian you never were, kinder and gentler, judicious you were. It is from you that I learned what choice meant, what determination was and I carry the proud card in my wallet.
We never went fishing, we never played pool, we never played ball but we always went to The Game, Soccer that is. You would linger with the bigwigs and I, with the peeps, so I could yell my lungs out. Oh and I played the sports too just as you did, although not professional.
Occasionally, we would go to the bashes but you were too shy to be caught dancing. A point that makes me question where I got my dancing shoes from. I, on the other hand, have not found one dancing shoe that does not fit me. Someone should have perhaps, stack a ballerina moniker in my forehead.
You were smart and intelligent, a thought-out individual. You introduced me to books in your stuffed library, books of all sorts of shapes and colors and tastes. You infused in me that sense of conscientiousness and self-worth. It did not matter, you said, ignore the ignorant long enough and they will go away. No sense in fighting them. Oops, I like that!
You detested conflicts. It was not your forte. I never heard you complaining or arguing. I never saw you screaming or yelling at anyone. Perhaps, you should have bent some of your rules a bit so to give me a lesson or two regarding the “real” world. It is a jungle out there.
I never saw you but showing genuine love and deep respect to mom– your love for her was untainted, unadulterated, extraordinary. Your perpetual love affair made and still makes me burn with envy. I never heard you raising your voice or your hand on her and for that I could never thank you enough. The reason why she respected and loved you with such intensity of a incandescent light bulb. It showed with her constant presence at your beside even putting her own health at risk but she didn’t care. That’s her. She was a trooper who exerted a strength of a superwoman, undesirable magnetic force to the point of excess, at least to us but muscles she did not have, will she did. They say it is love. I really don’t know were she got it from but I want to be just like her when I grow up. Perhaps, you were otherwise somewhere else but that was a foreign elsewhere to both me and my sister.
You were not a blabber; you never were. You were actually a man of a few words. You barely shared your thoughts frustrating a few of us. We were often left to read in between the lines when you sat alone in the sofa, always with your eyes close, your hands going through your balding head while recklessly chewing on your nails. It was your thing, chewing on those nails. Geez, if they could talk, they would be telling stories or beg for mercy. But we knew better. You always spoke in metaphors; so, us girls were left to decode them.
It was your dry sarcastic sense of humor that made my funny side possible. Oh boy, did it ever?! You traveled the world over returning with stories that you shared at dinner. Oh, how I miss those moments! We would sit and talk about things. My mother was the butt of a lot of our jokes but she didn’t mind; it was all in good fun.
Long before email, FaceBook or Skype sucked us in, I had your letters. You wrote often and your letters were delightful. You always knew what to say and how to say it. You just knew how to satiate my anxious salivating soul. I enjoyed them then and do enjoy them now. The reason why still have some of them stacked away. But then, one beautiful day they stopped coming. They were no more. The letters were replaced by weekly phone calls and even those too, soon fizzled. The dreadful madness took over and replaced you with a new version of you. Yeah, I loved that new person too.
I wish you could see the way we talk today Dad. It is so instant now; with a click I could have seen and heard you. How cool is that? But the story is not to be. It ended a year ago today, when you finally succumbed to the madness and went to be with the Lord. I guess God needed you more. I know He is taking great care of him but…
Dad, perhaps you finally learned how to dance and is somewhere dancing the Macarena, oops, Gangnam Style or Harlem Shake or doing stand up at Comedy Club somewhere. I don’t know. I wish I had a mirror into it all but I don’t and it is just the way it is.
Once upon a time, I was your princess, your finicky little girl and your young tomboy. Today, I am your anguished daughter.
I so miss you. I miss talking to you. I miss our conversations. I miss our moments. I miss exchanging a few words with you. I miss hearing your sarcastic humor and calm voice, your good manners and your beautiful heart. I miss all of you but you are no longer with us. I can only commit to the memories and dream that one day you I see you again. I know better. I resort to just wishing.
Thank you for having been my dad. Thank you for having been our dad. Thank you for having been my mother’s husband. Thank you for having been our friend.
P.S. This letter was originally published on Father’s Day 2009 as my father’s health was in terrible shape but minor changes have been added, as we pay homage to him on one year anniversary of his death today. https://ludlumdrive.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/a-letter-to-my-daddy