The one less traveled…

Dear Dad…

dad

Hi dad…as you know, today is Father’s Day…just wanted to finally put all I hold in my heart for you down in black and white.  I know it’s been over 24 years since I last saw you and not a day goes by that I don’t think on that.  Not a day goes by that I don’t recall some bit of something that reminds me of you.

I suppose I could sit here and recount how my life has evolved in the years since we last saw one another…but I’m certain you already know.  Perhaps I could fill this page with volumes of childhood anecdotes relaying just how wonderful a Father you were…and how very much you’ve influenced my life…then again, you already know this as well.

Just how do I put into words the more intangible gifts you’ve blessed me with…how do I describe your amazing spirit…how you always carried a ready easy smile for everyone…your passion and compassion for others…always sincere, deep and heartfelt.  I may not ever recall the myriad of toys or trinkets, that I’m certain I begged you for, but I will never forget your spirit.  You touched so many lives through your countless acts of simple kindness and humanity…no matter how little we had, you always made room for others who had less.  Today it is the fiber of who I am to always make room for one more…thank you.

For a man who left school in the ninth grade, you were one of the most intelligent grounded people I’ve ever known, and yet you fostered my creative soul.  I can only imagine what work it was to balance trying to instill a sense of responsibility without crushing my incredibly free spirit…but you did.  Thanks to you I still have that sense of adventure…of all things possible…I still dream big beautiful dreams…all with a sense of purpose and direction.

You experienced so much overwhelming pain in your life…losing your young wife at 26…leaving you with two small girls.  It was up to you to explain to us that mommy wasn’t coming back, and then you had to pick up the shattered pieces and move on.  I saw that loss never quite left you…and changed who you were on a very deep level…but you never stopped loving or seeking.  Through you, I learned what a truly deep love is…and that, even when that love is taken away, you don’t close your heart off…you pick up…move on…and continue to live your life full of love.  They say that women choose men who are like their Fathers…and I couldn’t be happier or more proud to say that I am with someone just like you.

So today, while others journey to see and celebrate their dads, I just wanted to let you know, what I never had the chance to tell you while you were here on earth…and to say thank you for raising a beautiful adult…and thank God for blessing me with you for a Father.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy…

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3 responses

  1. Barbara Nicholls

    What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing that. It really made me smile and to appreciate what a loving father I had even more. I miss him every day too. ❤

    June 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

  2. kim deacon

    justene,

    I’ts been far too long to say “What’s new?”

    Know that I think of you often, and hope you are healthy and happy.

    The letter to your Dad was exceptional

    Keep dreaming

    Kim

    July 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

  3. peteoccy

    This touched me so deeply. Lost my Dad when I was 19. The memories spread across a vast spectrum from adoration to fear. I think the thing I missed most was ever having an adult to adult relationship with him. I left home at 17 and was busy finding my own way, then suddenly he was gone. Part of what makes life a little interesting now is that I am trekking where he never went. Thanks my lovely. You paint a wonderful picture of a man worth knowing!

    Peter

    September 18, 2009 at 7:51 pm