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
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.
Jun 21, 2009
On Father’s Day, it’s important to note that there are many different types of fathers… this letter definitely conveys that, in multiple ways.
I took a vacation from the church. The vacation lasted for years. I could sleep in and I never worried about Sunday Mass. That changed three years ago. I joined your church and began to be active in the community. I will admit, I went kicking and screaming, but my wonderful husband gently persisted and led by an example that I never realized was there.
You see, my boys, they need to grow up knowing God. They need to understand that there is something bigger and better than them in this world. They need to understand so much and even though I believe, I do not have the experience, knowledge, or openness to share my faith as completely as you do.
You have helped me in that sharing. I have always considered my faith private and rarely discussed it with anyone. I now answer endless streams of questions and listen to the stories of the Saints that my Kindergartener has eagerly learned. (more…)
Mar 5, 2009
I know we haven’t always gotten along well, but I have always loved you and wanted a better relationship with you. When you and Mama divorced, I thought for a short time that maybe we would have that better relationship. You confided in me, shared things with me, and even introduced me to the woman you had been seeing.
Then you married her. We weren’t even invited. You ran off to Vegas and came home and told me about it nearly a month after it happened. Maybe that’s why I did the same. I didn’t tell you about Ryan until I knew my sister had already told you about him.
But then you came home and you and your new wife moved into the home I had grown up in, and you moved her children into that home. When I came to visit, it didn’t even feel like home anymore.
Then you moved an hour away, and the only time we saw each other was on holidays or special occasions. I can’t say I missed you, since I don’t guess I ever really knew you. You were never an active part of my life. (more…)