Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dear Daddy

October 4th, 1988, 6:23 in the morning.
The phone rang.
I answered.

"Well, it's over".

I fell to my knees and cried.

You had died.

You just turned 59 two days earlier, you reached your goal. Your Dad died at 59, your Grandfather died at 59, and now you did too.

I miss you terribly. I ache. I've prayed to God to just give me one more minute. One more minute to hug you and tell you that I love you.

Your life started to end at the age of 26, when you saved the life of another. You always knew your time on this Earth would be short. I guess I just expected you to live forever. I remember asking you once that if you had it to do all over, would you have changed that day so that you could have lived longer yourself. Your reply, "absolutely not"! I guess your life was just as God had planned it to be. I sometimes wonder if that stranger you saved remembers you.

Six and a half months after you died, your first grandchild entered this world. He came to us as sick as you were when you left. To this day I believe he has your soul. Maybe that's a way for me to cope, maybe it's true. Regardless, it gives me comfort. I took him to meet you, I don't know if he understood, but we were there. I was pregnant with Sarah at the time, so she kind of got to meet you too. One day the kids and I will make it back up to WV to see you again. I hate that you're buried there.

Even though you had three sons, you always called me the son you never had. You took me fishing.. oh, I know, I was nothing more than a glorified pole holder, better than PVC right? *smile* I liked getting up before the crack of dawn, Mom packing you a thermos of coffee, and me a thermos of hot chocolate. We'd go net for bait, then sit on the rocks at the Jetty to catch whatever we could. Ya know Dad, it never mattered to me what we caught, I just loved spending that time with you. I miss that time.

When I was little, you took me to me to the races. I remember it was so cold. You wrapped the blanket around me to help keep me warm. The cars, they hadn't even started their engines and I wanted to go home. You didn't even get to see the first lap, you took me home, smiling all the while! You weren't even mad. I miss that time with you.

Sunday football. You'd sit there eating a peanut butter and sliced onion sandwich and drinking an Old Milwaukee beer. I remember the aroma like it was yesterday. You'd get so excited if the Buccaneers or the Dolphin's scored a touch down. Heck you'd even fuss at the TV if they made a bad call. I miss that scent, and I miss that time with you.

Remember when you went hunting? I hated you leaving me. I'd sit in my tiny rocking chair in the living room, in the dark, and rock for hours. I'd finally nod off to sleep and Mom would carry me to bed. I still have that chair. I miss missing you when I knew you'd come home, because now when I miss you, you can't come back.

Everything that you were, and everything that you did in this World, you did unselfishly for your wife and your children expecting absolutely nothing in return.. but gaining so much love from everyone whose heart you touched. I miss your love and I miss your heart.

I was talking to a friend the other day who lost her Mom. She read the letter that I wrote Mom and told me that she had wished she had done that for her Mother before she passed on. I told her she still can write it, that her Mom will know. So Daddy, do me a favor. Please find my friends Mom and tell her to look for that letter, because hers is coming! I know you see this, I know you hear my words, and I know the tears flowing down my face right now breaks your heart.. but Daddy, don't you worry about me, I'm gonna be just fine! I just miss you so much!!!

Your Grand kids, they're doing great! William was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa in college, and Sarah, she'll be graduating High School this year with honors. I see a lot of you in them. Their intelligence, their sense of humor, and their hearts.. they're amazing kids Daddy! I know you see them, but I wish y'all could have met. You would have made a WONDERFUL Grandfather!!!

Since I can't visit your grave as often as I'd like, I had to come up with something that would make this time "better" for me. So, each year, on October 4th, I go to a graveyard. I search for the single grave that it seems no one ever pays attention to, or visits. The stone covered in weeds; no flowers; no nothing.. so I adopt them. Yes Dad, I adopt a dead person. Then, for the rest of the year, I have someone to visit when I'm blue. Maybe this person is a friend of yours now.. who knows! It's just something that I need to do.

It's been twenty years and it still hurts so much! I'm glad it hurts though, because that way I know you're still very much a part of me!

I love you Daddy!

~Daddy's Little Girl


Country Comes To Town said...

Angie that's a great post and what a great idea to adopt another grave to care for each year. My father died in 1988 as well at the age of 65. It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years.

Angie ^i^ said...

Twenty years, what I wouldn't do to have had all those extra years with him. I'm sorry you lost your Dad when you were relatively young too. *big hug*

Adopting a grave ~ it's just one more of those quirky odd things that I do. =)

I know my bLogs are a tad lengthy, and I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you reading them.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful letter to your dad, Angie. I think its great you write letters and adopt someone to visit when you are blue. I can't imagine what its like to lose a parent.
I'm at a loss for the right words.
Very touching letter!

Angie ^i^ said...


You don't see my face in that picture ~ that's because I was crying in it. It was so hard to introduce my son to his Grandfather that way.
Everyone has their own way to cope with things.. for me, it's to write. Oh, and I know it's sort of different to adopt a replacement for something we miss, but in some weird way it really does help!

Welcome home from SouthTube2. I was talking to a friend yesterday who went as well. The first person he told me about meeting was you! He said you were a "sweetheart" ~ I couldn't agree more! =)

*big hugs* right back at'cha! Have a great week!

Sue said...

Angie, I didn't know you had this blog and have been reading all your posts. I'm really grateful for people like you who are willing to share your thoughts and feelings and yes, life's seemingly endless trials. Life is HARD. Oh, man, is it ever. But please keep on keepin' on and keep sharing.
I'll look forward to you next post.

Angie ^i^ said...

Thank you Sue, your kind words mean a lot! Ever since I was a young child, I've written about my thoughts, my feelings, my triumphs and my disasters! For me, it's almost like therapy! =)

Oshutterup said...

what a wonderful idea!! I miss my parents deeply - mom passed away 1998 and dad 2006 - man, i miss them deeply. The day mom passed away we were all around her - the days before that she went into a coma and we talked to her.. I firmly believe she heard everything.. I asked to meet me by the gates when it's my turn to enter Heaven, and I promised I'd try to do my best to strive to meet her. Man, this is hard to type.. We weren't' with dad when he passed away - but I was told his last words were "tell my kids that Jesus is real"... man i miss them. and i have so much hope and reassurance that I'll see them again and be reunited...
thanks Angie... thanks

Angie ^i^ said...

*hugs* to you Ruthe!

Write your own letters, it really does help! They hear you, hear your words, feel what you feel. I truly believe with all that I am that my Father is here when I need him the most.. the other times, he divides it between me, my Mom, and my brothers! He's a busy guy! *smile* I write my Daddy a letter almost every year.

Have you ever seen the Robin Williams movie: "What Dreams May Come"? If you haven't please watch it.. to me, that's Heaven! That's where Daddy is... that's where your Mom and Dad are and it is oh so beautiful!!!

BTW, it's okay to cry!