No matter how grown I am, whenever I think of you, I become a little girl again. I was still quite young when you left and you never got to see me really grow up – I was just getting started. I am glad that you weren’t here to watch me make mistakes, but I wish you could see me now. I wish I could tell you all of the things I have learned in my life and share with you how much your personality, wisdom and teachings affect me in who I am today.
I have your smile and your wonderful burst of laughter. I have your quick wit - people tell me that all the time. They enjoy my personality and every single time that someone tells me this, I drop a flower on your casket in my mind.
I have your openness and I am not afraid to be myself, thank you for that. Without it, I don’t think I could have the wonderful relationships with people that I experience. I have your strong teeth - I didn’t get my first cavity until after I turned 40. Unfortunately, I also have your receding hairline – (why did you have to give me that?).
I have your hands. As I get older, I watch them look more like yours - well except more feminine. When I was in my twenties, I didn’t know how to ‘not have a father’. I looked for people to be a father figure to me. But no one could ever really be my ‘Daddy’.
I remember when I was a little girl and you stayed home from work one day so I didn’t have to go to the babysitter’s. I will never forget when you played house with me. Instead of pretending you were the husband, I wanted you to be my baby and to let me be the mommy. I wanted to take care of you.
I will never forget you screaming “wah-h-h!!” at the top of your lungs while I tried to hush you and show that I could be a good mommy. You wouldn’t stop - and though it frustrated me then, it makes me get tickled now to think of how much fun you must have had at my expense. This is the way I look at God, Daddy. Even though He is my strong father, He also plays with me and laughs with me. It helps me to get through life when it gets hard - to not take myself so seriously all the time and to laugh at myself.
Life has been hard, Daddy. Sometimes I need you here, to tell me what to do. I get a little angry that I missed out on that guidance, but I am glad that you no longer walk on crutches. I remember watching you walk up the stairs in a building and falling. I tried to help you and I began to cry because I felt sorry for you and you would not let me cry. You said that you were fine and you got up not letting me help you. You would not let anyone feel sorry for you. YOU did not feel sorry for you. That taught me a lot.
I have been through some very hard times, Daddy, but I keep on …‘getting back up’. Polio made you a stronger person. Your daughter’s learned, by watching you, how to never give up. There were times I was angry at you and I didn’t understand some of the mistakes you made when you were here. But that taught me how to forgive. It taught me how to accept that we all are human and with faults – but that we are still valuable and worth something.
Life has also been wonderful. You always saw things in a positive way – you taught me how to take any stumbling block and turn it into a stepping stone. Oh Daddy, I miss you so! I miss the way you would raise that dark eyebrow on one side. My youngest son Andrew, who you never got to meet, does that. He is a soldier now. You would be proud of him.
My Jonny is a wonderful father, raising his children on his own and sometimes I call him ‘Sonny’ – the name you were called as a boy. Nathan has your scholastic abilities and is a good thinker, very pragmatic, (and the twins both have your deep brown eyes). I wish that you could see your great-grandchildren. I wish you could see all of us. Maybe God lets you take a peek and maybe you are proud.
This Father’s Day is no easier than any of the others.
Having Papa as my step-dad was very needed for me and I am sad that he is no longer here either now. All the years that I could go to him and receive guidance was always helpful when I didn’t have you. Now I find myself without a Daddy or a Papa. I know I have my Abba Father - believe me, I cry out to Him, I celebrate Him, I laugh with Him! But on earth, to not get those strong hugs from you, to not hear your hearty laughter and to never hear you call me ‘Termite’… I miss you.
I will love you always,