TALLADEGA SCENIC HIGHWAY ON MT. CHEAHA ~ ALABAMA ~ photo taken by Dianna Stover
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

A LETTER TO MY DAD

February 20, 2011

Dear Dad...

I can't believe that this day marks the first full year since you've been gone.

365 days ago... I watched with pride as you looked into my mothers eyes and told her how much you loved her, before you slipped away. Knowing how much that meant to her, it was an experience I will never forget. In spite of having to adjust to life without you, she moves forward through her pain and lonesomeness and takes care of her daily business in convicted fashion. She may not feel it everyday, but she's still a very strong lady, and you would be proud of her. I know I am.

365 days ago... I listened to my brothers cries, as they wept with grief over the man who provided them with the love, strength, honor and discipline that molded them into men. I know you and I had a wonderful relationship, but the bond between a father and son is different and can compare to no other. Like mom, they are doing their best to move along in their lives, but your absence is sometimes unbearable. I feel for my brothers and wish I could help them through their sorrow, but just as it is with mom... we all have to endure our loss as individuals, as well as a united loving family.

365 days ago... My heart was breaking for your grandkids. I cried along with them while their young and tender hearts tried to understand the pain of life and death. What would they do now... without their loving Gpa?

365 days ago... I looked around the room and saw an amazing thing. Your home was filled... with crying people. Your brothers and sister and a handful of nieces and nephews all shared our grief as we said our goodbyes and whispered promises of seeing you again... in heaven. It was a moment that would make any daughter proud with the fact that her father touched and loved so many.

365 days ago... I cried for you... and still do.

I went riding yesterday and I devoted all my miles to you. I thought about our Father Daughter date nights, or the times you tried to teach me how to pitch a softball with "some english", the rides we shared on your Honda, and the day you gave me away to the only other man I would call my hero. I even had one of those split second "freeze frame" moments in life that only happens when God puts you in the right place at the right time. I knew as soon as it happened... you were riding with me.

365 days ago... you said goodbye.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm glad this "first" year is over. Holidays and birthdays came and went, and each one brought with it a renewed since of pain as we realized you were not here to share them with us. In spite of it all, we moved along Dad, just as you would have wanted us to.

I wish I could tell you the Chicago Bears made it to the Super Bowl, but no cigar. It's a good thing you didn't have to see the game that sealed their fate... it probably would have pissed you right off (at least in Heaven, the Bears win all their games!). You've got a couple more grandkids graduating from High School this year... and I know you'll be smiling down upon them on their special day. You've never missed one yet, so I don't suppose you'll start now. Even though they might not see you... they know you'll be there... in spirit.

One last note... your son-in-law wishes you were here to bust his chops. He figures your grinning from ear to ear as you look down upon us and see Bill Elliott starting the 2011 Daytona 500... in a CHEVY!

Well dad... I'm gonna let you go now. I just wanted to talk to you for a while and tell you that I love you. Hopefully, the next 365 days will be better as we continue to do our best to make you proud of us. I love you so much and I miss you even more than words can express.

Your memory will live on in us forever.

Your loving daughter...

D

12 comments:

Dean "D-Day" said...

As I said on FB, this was an absolutely beautiful memorial.
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Raftnn said...

It is hard for me to understand, thankfully my Mum and Dad are still with us. But writing like this brings healing, and that is a good thing. Good on you for writing it, thoughts are with you from NZ.

MeanDonnaJean said...

Girrrrrrrrl, that was absolutely, positively beautiful. But look at what the hell ya just DID to me. Now I'm a sad, slobberin', tearful messed up mess.

And I was doin' SO good....until THIS, that is.

Welp, I reckon its back to therapy for MDJ.

FLHX_Dave said...

Wow...just wow. This is a very heartfelt confession of a daughters love. Every father should be so fortunate. Be at peace because he already knows everything you wrote here...and all the other stuff you couldn't say.

KT Did said...

It is always sad to know you won't see him again, but you have to know that you are one of the lucky ones that you were blessed with all those perfect memories and most of all, the love that continues.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Thank you my friend. My dad would have liked you, (even if you are a cheese head!)

Raftnn... I was very lucky... writing my letter to my dad was more for me I guess. It felt better afterward.

MDJ... I'm sorry for the jerker. I couldn't help myself. Just get out and ride for about a hundred miles... everything will feel better after that. :)

Dave... I really wish I could just have one more cup of coffee with him. I don't have any regrets and I know he's with me every day, but I still miss him so much. Yesterday was hard day, but knowing him, he would expect us to shake it off and tackle these next 365 days... with vigor. So that... is what we will do! Thanks for your words of support. I appreciate them.

KT... Your right... I'm very fortunate that I have a treasure chest full of sweet (and sour!) memories. I thank God everyday for blessing me with the parents I had. If it weren't for them, I don't know what I'd have turned out like. Scary to think about it!

Gary France said...

What a beautiful letter. You obviously loved your Dad dearly and miss him a great deal. Good for you, to be able to express yourself in such a wonderful way.

Judy said...

That was so beautiful. Im sure the angels in heaven smiled when they heard it read...by your father, I imagine. ;)God bless you, sweetie.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Gary... thank you. He liked reading my blog and my brothers tell me that he talked about me to his buddies all the time. Writing about him helps me feel closer to his memory and sharing him just makes me happy.

Judy... Thank you. He was such an organizer... it wouldn't surprise me if he called a meeting first. LOL!

Mr. Motorcycle said...

That was heartfelt and moving. Beautiful. Sniff Sniff. Time heals. It sounds like you are doing just fine.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Mr. M... thank you... time is our best friend, when it comes to healing.

WooleyBugger said...

That was a wonderful letter to your Dad. He must have been very proud to have a daughter such as you, I have no doubt in my mind.