After your last visit here, and then speaking to you yesterday, I have to admit, I’m worried. If our lives were fueled by the love others have for us, I alone could keep you alive forever. I wish that were the case, but since it is not, I want to tell you some things.
- Dad, I am so proud to be your daughter.
- I love that I look like you.
- I love that I have your personality, your laugh, your sense of humor, and your resilient spirit.
- I love that we’re adventurers, and storytellers.
- I love that you make me laugh so much, you make me lose my lady-like mannerisms and I flap my hands around like a retarded seal until I can breathe again.
- I love that I have never even once entertained the thought that you could ever not love me in all of my 46 years.
- I love how you refused to have any other children besides me and Michael so we would know we could never be replaced.
- I love how you doggedly refused to give up on Michael, and how you try so hard to become
tech-savvy enough to follow his blogs and internet communications even though it is clear you are kind of clueless about computers.
- I love how you scold me if I don’t ask you for help, and how you nag me to eat more, and eat better.
- I love how you always offer to go beat up people who are pissing me off.
- I love how safe you make me feel, and how my tears are your tears too.
- I love that you got to know my kids, and can see the awesomeness in them I’ve always seen.
- Even better, I love that you think all their awesomeness comes from you, and not from me. And any flaws they have, we both agree, can be blamed on their father.
- I love that you are proud of what kind of mother I turned out to be.
- I love that you forgave mom, and even feel sad for the suffering she is going through right now.
- I love every single one of your stories, even the ones that make me cringe.
- I love that you are an interesting person who has seen some things.
- I love everything about you– the good and the bad.
I know we get into awkward territory when we discuss God, but I want you to know… He does, in fact, truly exist, and I thank Him for picking you to be my dad. Most of the characteristics that have allowed me to survive the crippling-kinds of experiences I have experienced, I got from you. I can’t be positive, but I think you gave Michael the same ones. You have nothing to apologize to me for. I remember you trying, and I am thankful for that.
I imagine every parent wishes we’d done something differently…tried a little harder or been a little more laid back. Don’t be so harsh with yourself for the things you wished you’d done differently. You simply did not fail me, Dad. I always felt your love inside my heart, no matter how far apart we were.
I pray for you constantly these days. I can see your health faltering, and it scares me to think you might not be with us much longer. I feel four years’ old again, afraid and alone. So, please try to put off that moment for as long as possible, okay? I can’t lose you again right now. Do everything the doctors tell you to do.
I love you, Dad. Please stick around a little while longer.
~ Catherine Mallicoat