Jun 21, 2009
To The Man Who Holds My Heart and My Children:
I sit here, at the end of what I am certain is our most difficult parenting day to date, completely in love with the man you have become. When we met those ten and a half years ago, I knew there was something about you, something I wouldn’t be able to find in anyone else. Now, I know that is true. I’m not certain what exactly I did to deserve you, but I will tell you I do not take a single ounce of your love for granted.
My love, you are compassionate.
You don’t hesitate to scoop our babies up into your arms after they fall down and get hurt. You even sympathize with their devastation over a broken toy and tickle their sadness away. In the midst of my own tears, you quickly wrap me in a silent hug and let me bury my head into your chest until my grief has subsided. No matter how big or small the situation, you listen, you understand, and you care.
You are the most unselfish person I have ever met. (more…)
Jun 21, 2009
You weren’t supposed to die. It wasn’t your time. It couldn’t have been. You were 58… and played racquetball almost every day. You were a happy, healthy person. Everyone–Mom, my brothers and me, and your friends–thought of you as their “best friend.” I can still see you toasting us at the Pope’s Table at Bucca. You went to all those Cavs, Indians and Browns games. You still had so much life in you, ahead of you.
Melanoma caught us all by surprise. That day I called to see how the doctor’s appointment went, Mom blurted out you had a brain tumor. I couldn’t stop crying for days. I don’t know how I took care of my toddlers, but I‘m sure it involved snacks (like you taught me). The next thing we knew, there was the surgery to find out about this brain tumor. The neurosurgeon told us in the waiting room it had metastasized from somewhere else. Several weeks later, we got the news: melanoma. (more…)
Jun 21, 2009
I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the writers who sent in Father’s Day letters for the Unsent Letters blog. I was surprised to see how few we received, especially in comparison to the Mother’s Day requests. I’ve known, for some reason, over the years, that Father’s Day doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal as Mother’s Day. The reason for that became abundantly clear to me as I sifted through the letter submissions this week.
Someone on the AWF forum said that they had stopped reading Unsent Letters because the subject matter was too heavy. It’s funny, because the really heavy, hard-hitting, gut wrenching letters are being saved for the book — along with some humorous and lighthearted and uplifting ones too — but generally speaking, we can share and say the ‘good’ things. It’s the hurtful, harmful, damaging, angry, ‘bad’ things that we leave unspoken, buried deep inside of us.
Then we come to the Father’s Day letters. The one theme I saw running through the majority of the Father’s Day Unsent Letters was that of an ‘absent’ or mostly ‘absent’ father — the deadbeat dads, the dads who kids never knew, children raised by grandparents, etc. So much of the negative aspect of fathers overshadowed the handful of positive Father’s Day letters I received. (more…)
Jun 21, 2009
There are things I wish to say, but I know you are a proud man who wishes to remain quiet about such health issues. Did you know how often I pray for your health? I never say it, because I know you and I see differently on religious views.
I was very afraid for you in April and May. It was very hard to see you lying in the hospital bed in those crisp white sheets. I never realized how sick you were until I saw you. Although, some days you still had the strength to flirt with your nurses. I guess it is true that you cannot keep a good man down.
Over the course of my life, you may not have always been there when I wanted you to be. However, you were always there when I truly needed you to be. I would like to think that now it is my turn to be here for you. You may not like to hear what I say, but you need to hear it just the same.
You and I both know where my medical training lays so I am sure you realize that I along with Diane and Lori realize more than the others do. All seven of us want you around for years to come. (more…)
Jun 21, 2009
You weren’t my father, at least not in the biological sense of the word. You took on the role and carried it out with finesse and pride. We do share the same DNA with a slight generational gap. You are my grandfather, but in my mind and in my heart you were so much more than that.
You were the one who went to work every day to make sure I had food in my belly and clothes on my back. You were the one who took pride when I got good grades or showed disappointment when I had done badly. You were the one that stood by me through thick and thin. You were the one that was there when I needed you both financially and emotionally. You took on the role as my father with pride, but you were even so much more than that.
You were my daddy in my heart and in my soul. You were the one that galloped around the hall with me on your shoulders singing Hi Ho Silver Away as grandma prayed we would remember to duck in the doorways. You were the one who took me to skating lessons. You were the one that took me to school functions. You were the one who made sure we never missed a county fair or steam engine show. You were the one who shared your buckwheat pancakes with me as a small girl.
You have been gone for four years now and I don’t think you will ever know how much I loved you then and love you still. I miss you every day, but on Father’s Day I miss you even more. I miss the sound of your voice and the joy in your laugh. I miss the way you played with my kids, your great grandchildren, like you did with me when I was a little girl. I miss the smell of your hair when you hugged me. I miss the warmth of your lips when you kissed my cheek.
I selfishly wish you could be here to celebrate Father’s Day with us, to celebrate the role you took in my life. But I can only hope that you can feel the love and the strength you left me with.
Ryanick Paige is a freelance writer and bargain shopper extraordinaire. Some of her work can be read at Associated Content.