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Dear Dad

January 30, 2009

Dad,

It’s been three years to the day since your passing.  I’ll never forget celebrating Ryan’s birthday and getting the call from the nursing home telling me they didn’t think you were going to make it through the night.  I threw my coat on, grabbed my cell and ran out the door.  I called Uncle Joe and Penny to let them know I was on my way up and why.  When I arrived, grandpa and Uncle Joe were already there and soon Penny arrived followed by Paula.  Dying alone was one of your biggest fears you told me.  You didn’t want to be alone when it was time so we all came up to be with you.  Penny and I held your hands and talked to you.  You couldn’t talk to us but you could hear us.  We talked about all the good times we had growing up.  Trips to Texas, holidays, getting into trouble and how good a dad you were.  I remember telling you that you were the best dad anyone could have.  I saw a tear fall from your eye and stream down your cheek.

I know you are in a better place now and your suffering is over.  You were tired of fighting and the cancer consumed you, it was time for you to leave us.  Watching you die before my very eyes is something I have had a very hard time with dad.  We all knew that it was coming but it didn’t make anything easier.  Watching you gasp for air to stay alive is something I can’t erase from my memory and I’m having a hard time dealing with it.  I thought I was mentally prepared but I was WRONG.  While growing up, I thought you would be around forever.  I certainly never thought you would pass so young.  It’s been hard.

Paula, I and the kids are all doing well.  I had a close call about a year and a half ago when I had a heart attack.  I thought I was just having really bad heartburn until I lost ALL color in my skin, got dizzy, started sweating and could barely walk.  They fixed me up pretty good at the hospital though.  I had a 98% blockage and they put in a stent.  I’m on high blood pressure meds and blood thinners now but doing well.  My last checkup looked A-OK.

We bought a travel trailer like you wanted me too.  It’s just like the trailers we used to look at and wish we had.  Now I do.  You would love it!  We also bought a new house and guess what, it’s PAID OFF!  NO MORTGAGE!!  🙂

Paula has a new job with the government so you two would have a lot to talk about.  🙂  I’m no longer in IT and I am in the process of starting my own wedding photography business.  I shoot Canon just like you did.

Nick graduates from high school this year!  He wants to be a welder.

I’m not sure how Shelby and Colby are doing?  I don’t talk to them and you already know why.  I took your advice.

Penny, Eric and the kids are all fine.  They bought a new house also.  It’s still out in the country but a little closer to us.

I want to say thanks dad.  Thanks for the memories, your wisdom, your help, your advice, kicking me in the ass when I needed it and helping mold me into who I am today.  Thanks for being the best dad anyone could ask for.

Gary

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2009 9:05 AM

    Gary,
    Your dad was a lucky man to have such a loving son , as you. What a loving letter to your dad. I saw a big smile on his face! I lost my dad at 57 years old. He died in his sleep. I think of him everyday! I too have fond memories! Keep his spirit alive, like you are! I am happy to see you are keeping an eye on your health! Close calls are a wake up call! Sounds like you have it under control now! Live life! Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. January 30, 2009 9:25 AM

    Wow, Nikki is mourning the passing of her dad on our blog today too. Though her feelings are somewhat different. This was very nice. I’m sorry you have bad memories but I’m so glad you were with him if that’s what he was afraid of. Losing someone is so hard. I feel writing like this helps. Did it?

  3. January 30, 2009 3:27 PM

    Thanks Luisa!

    You have a great weekend!

  4. January 30, 2009 3:28 PM

    I think it did help writing that Joy. Today was not as hard as I expected it to be.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. January 30, 2009 4:21 PM

    Gary, this had to have been great therapy for you. I know it was for me. I wonder now if I should sit down and write a letter to my dad, tell him everything I ever wanted to say but never had the heart to. As much as he hurt me I never wanted him to hurt or feel my pain. It’s so confusing to me why is was that I wanted to protect him from that yet he never protected me.
    With everyone’s compassion and kind words today wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected either. Thank you! 🙂

  6. January 30, 2009 6:19 PM

    Writing this was really great therapy! I think you should write a letter to your dad and tell him everything you wanted to say but didn’t. I bet it would make you feel better!

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