Letters to Dad...11 years

Dad,

I thought about you today, and for a moment looked at the phone to call you.  I wanted to tell you what I was struggling with right now.  I knew you'd have the right words to say.  And that you'd end them with "but do whatever you want, you are going to anyway."  But at least I wanted to hear what you had to say.  I was mad for a minute dad.  When I realized there would be no answer on the other side of the phone I felt mad.  I'm mad you are gone.  But mostly behind that mad is really really sad.  And missing.  Because sometimes dad.  I'm lonely.  And sometimes dad, I feel really lost.  And you always made me feel like I was home.  It's been a long time since I felt that. 

I wonder if you are playing music. Playing your violin, viola, or the flute.  If you watch me make mistake after mistake.  I make so many. If you see when I succeed.  I wonder if you are happy, or if you miss us.  Do you feel frustrated for us?  Sad for us? Do you ever wish you were here? In the quiet moments of our struggles here are you behind us, supporting us, lifting us? I look up at the sky and I wonder when I will feel whole again.

Today is 11 years since you left this world behind. 11 years of missing you. It feels more like a lifetime. If I knew the short years I would get to spend with you, there are some things I would have done differently. A lot differently.

I would have stayed home and not moved out as soon as I could when I turned 18. I would have understood that my time with you was short, and that I would have plenty time away from home later. I would have skipped out on all the time I spent away from home thinking friends and boyfriends were more important.

I would have listened to you more when you talked instead of thinking I knew better. I would have asked you more questions about YOU. And cared what your life looked like through your eyes.

I would have given up time with my friends to go on more trips and date nights with you. I would have spent soooo many more days singing with you.

I would have worked harder to make you more proud of me.

I would have taken naps with you under trees and gone on more Sunday drives with you.

I wouldn’t have fought with you that one time. You know when. I would have just stopped my words from coming out. I would have loved you more.

I would have held you longer that last time I hugged you goodbye.

But with all the things I wish had done different dad, there are so many things I’d never change. All those church girls basketball games you came to watch me play. All my dance competitions you hated coming to but still did, and cheered the loudest even if it embarrassed me in a proud way a little bit. All the times you let me dance on your feet and sang “I was waltzing with my darlin”. That time you told me I couldn’t go to that one party. The only time you told me no. Thanks dad. You knew. The time you told me you told the whole office how proud I made you. The times you took me to the university with you after I begged and begged even though I never let you get your work done. All the bags of skittles you bought me and would bring me home from work. All the rides on the lawn mower while you sang me songs. I’m sure I slowed down the work for you. You never said anything about it. The Sunday walks and every time you told me you loved me.

Dad, it’s going to be ok. We will be ok. But we will never stop missing you. Every day.