I miss you. You will never get the chance to read this but that is alright because you already know what I am about to say. You know that I love you. You know that I am proud of you. You know that I could not have asked for a better man to be my father.
When I reflect upon the last several years, the slipping away of the essence of you into the fog of Alzheimer’s, I realize that we grabbed onto the moments we could and made the most of them. We had the chance to say goodbye, to talk about subjects in a detail we may otherwise not have. You spoke of your life as a child, as a young man, as a husband, and as a father. I listened with interest. I learned from your stories.
We spoke of the time when our lives intertwined, my whole life but only a part of yours. We reminisced about childhood games you would play with me, how you taught me to ride a bike and later to drive a car. I still to this day cannot round the corner onto our road without thinking about how I panicked and hit the gas instead of the brake on one of our many driving lessons. We rounded that corner much too fast but stayed on the road. I feel like you have turned the corner from life to death too quickly, and I am left standing by the side of the road looking for you.
You were always there in my life and now when you are no longer, you are still around in the simplicity of daily thoughts. Coffee reminds me of you. The smell of chainsaw oil and sawdust brings me to tears. And your big yellow fuzzy work gloves, I asked mom if I could have after you died… I have them carefully tucked away in the back drawer of my desk for the day when I can take them out of the bag and touch them.
I am sitting here typing and crying and missing you so very much. This is my first Father’s Day without you. I don’t get to call you on the phone and hear your voice or send you a card (which was always a day or two late, sorry about that) so I am writing you this letter instead.
I love you. I love you so very much,
XOXOXO Your daughter XOXOXO