In 2013, I wrote a blog post on Good Books and Good Wine in which I wrote a letter to Charlie from The Perks of Being A Wallflower. I decided that I would write an updated version of that letter in honor of Father’s Day. It is also the 13th anniversary of his passing. So, I’m reflecting and celebrating him today.
Dear Charlie –
When I first wrote you, I talked about life being strange and unpredictable. I sill believe this to be true. Good and/or bad things can happen to you based on various situations, circumstances, and people. All of these impact you in some way and help you become the person you are today.
Since 2013, many things have happened to me that I did not expect. I have continued reading and reviewing books and actually started finding my mojo for this again in 2021. I continued to work with the elderly to the point where I went back to school in 2014 to get a second master’s degree in gerontology. I have continued many of my life-long friendships and made some new ones along the way. And I have continued to be surprised that I have done all of this without my dad being present.
My dad passed away on June 20th, 2008 from complications from major back surgery. It really is hard to believe that is has been 13 years since this happened. Some days it feels much longer but most days…most days it feels like it wasn’t that long ago at all. At the end of the day, I understand that my dad’s body could not handle the necessary surgery. I know I wouldn’t want him to be in the kind of pain that he was in – a kind of pain that no pain medication, exercise, therapy, or surgery could relieve. I’m grateful that he is no longer in pain but, I also can’t help but wish he was still here for some of the things I’m doing now.
I wish that he was here to meet my boyfriend. I think they would have gotten along very well. I wish that he was here to talk about what happened with my job and what my next step should be. I know he would have been a good ear and would have provided solid advice to me. I wish he could have seen my apartment and witness me doing all of this on my own. I think he would have laughed at some of the mishaps I’ve had along the way. I wish that he could see how our families have grown and changed. I know he would be proud of his siblings, nieces and nephews. I know this because of the kind of man he was and the kind of man I remember him to be.
I love my dad. I still consider him my hero and I still miss him every single day. I still have moments when I see something or hear something and think “I should tell Dad that!” or “Ohh, Dad would love that…” and then it hits me again and I remember. It has gotten easier but there are still these moments. I’m still so grateful for the time I had with him; and although I wish I had more, it is so nice to be able to share stories about him with Shane, and others who have never met him. Or others who looked up to him and admired him just like me. Like my hair dresser – she’s known me since I was a little girl and also did my dad’s hair so every time I go to see her, we talk about him – and it keeps his memory alive.
I guess what I’m trying to say here Charlie is that life is still strange. I still laugh, cry, and try to breathe through it all. I’m starting to understand that I will never be fully plan for the unpredictable parts of life. I’m also starting to understand that I will never know everything but, I’m not going to stop learning. I’m grateful for the things in my life – the good and the bad – and I know my dad is still with me even if he is not physically here. And all of those things, I want him to know about? He knows. He really knows.
Thank you for listening,