I wish I could call you today to wish you a happy Father’s Day and to have a talk about all the things going on in my life. I learned to take your advice on some matters with a grain of salt, but with others you had good insights for me. Moving, selling my house, making plans for the future — there are times I feel so overwhelmed with it all, and I wish I could talk it over with my Dad.
But we can’t talk on the phone easily anymore, and I had to make due with letters. I sent you two last week. I forgot it was going to be Father’s Day at the beginning of the week, and so I just sent you a note from Washington. I knew I missed the week before, so I hope it helped make up for that. Wednesday, after I returned to Texas, Father’s Day was on my mind, and I sent you another card specifically for it. I posted it that day, but I don’t think it will arrive until next week. I hope that will be okay. I will send you another note today; your regular weekly letter since phone calls, like I said, don’t work well anymore.
I would imagine that the sister who is taking care of you will visit today. Maybe she will even take you out somewhere. I wonder if my other siblings will mark the day in any way. There are two who could easily visit. There are two more who could at least send a card. But that’s not my business nor my problem. I don’t control anyone else’s relationship to you, only my own. I know I could do better; I just hope I do good enough.
Good enough to let you know you are loved. Good enough to let you know I’m in your corner and would do what I can for you. Good enough to let you know that whatever has happened with my siblings, that I’m not blaming you for that.
There’s been a lot of water under the bridge, Dad. Sometimes I wish you had been a different, stronger person, with more integrity. But I got what I got, and you are the only Dad I will ever have. One thing I know is that while you often didn’t understand me, you loved me beyond reason, you were proud of me. Sometimes you wanted to protect me, even if you didn’t know how. Sometimes you did know how.
I will always remember how, after that bad car accident, you bought a car for me and drove it out to me from California. It wasn’t the type of car I would have picked out. Then again, we aren’t the type of family where parents buy cars for their kids. I knew that you were doing your best to take care of me. I washed that car, and I took care of that car, and I appreciated that car knowing how it represented your love for me.
We’ve had some rough patches along the way. I wish I could go back and find a better way through some of them; you don’t realize how precious time is until it is gone. I know, I know, you aren’t dead yet. And I will love you in my actions through to the end.
One thing I’ve come to understand is that even when the parent-child bond is damaged or broken, whatever things that happen to sunder the two, just what a powerful force it is that pulls our hearts toward each other. Wanting your parent’s love and approval is one of the most powerful forces on earth.
I love you Dad. I wish I could make you better. I wish I could make you as sharp as a tack. I wish I could redo some things from the past. I know I will do my best to write you every week though I expect I’ll miss a few. And I will visit at least twice a year, through to the end. I will do my best to be there when that end comes.