Dear D

Dear Dad,

Thank you for building such an amazing family for me to be a part of. My siblings are some of my best friends, and the first people that I want to talk to about trials and celebrations in my life. They are who I feel most comfortable around, and around who I allow myself to truly be me. I am home when I am with them no matter what our physical location may be.

I see your touch of influence written all over us, and I cherish that you have been preserved in such a wonderful manner. Sister has come to embody your sly, but sharp sense of humor that can shock even the most unconventional people into laughter. Brother has embraced your patient and understanding spirit, and is the understanding shoulder willing to help me carry my irrational load of stress and anxiety, and distract me with silliness. I know that you have never actually left us, and that your spirit is with us every day, if we are just willing to listen. But you left an even greater influence on this physical world after making your departure, you left your legacies – us children.

Perhaps that’s why Mom has put so much emotional distance between her and her children – because we remind her too much of the man that was her rock, who was taken abruptly from our lives. Maybe that’s why we lost the woman who used to be our mother when we lost you, because it hurts her too much to see an echo of you haunting her in this world. Maybe that’s why she chose to not join her children for Thanksgiving for the first time; Or maybe that’s why she hasn’t tried to call me once since I moved out of her house. Maybe I was forcing her to face her new life, and she resents me for having the energy and courage to continue moving on. Maybe I knowingly echoed too many of your words and ideas for her to handle with grace, and that’s why she took all of my words like a knife to her heart. Maybe that’s why she relies on Brother, the golden son, because he is almost an exact replication of your spirit and personality. Maybe that’s why I feel like Mother hates me at times. Maybe because I am too much like the best friend she was robbed of.

No matter what though, thank you. Thank you for loving, and existing, and always leading by example. Thank you for teaching me how to learn, and encouraging confidence. Thank you for your unusual sense of humor, and ability to look at things in an unexpected manner. Thank you for being my father. And thank you for continuing your influence on my life even after you have left it.

Love,

Your Daughter

P.S. I want Mother to join her children in celebrating your life and continuing your legacy, instead of mourning your loss and living in your memory. I want her to embrace your traits that she recognizes in us, and tell us the stories of your life that you were never able to share. I want to her to allow me to build a relationship with her before it is time for her to physically depart this world as well. I want to have not lost mother and you on the same day.

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