This weekend is father’s day and Monday will be my birthday. So it is a bittersweet weekend in my life. I am grateful because I am here to celebrate one more year. At the same time, I miss you more then there are words to express. It is hard to believe that you have been gone for 9 years now. I remember how many times my birthday fell on Father’s day and you would tell me that I was your Father’s Day present. So today, I just want to take time to tell you how much I love you and how grateful I am that you fathered me for so many years. I am grateful that you and Mom birthed me into your hearts and raised me as if I was your own.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you. Every day I think about how you were supposed to be here living with Zoe and I I think about how much Zoe and I were looking forward to spending time with you, caring for you, and getting on your last nerve. However, I think you knew that it was going to be more than we could handle and so out of love for me you chose to go live with mom again. I think if the truth is known, that is who you wanted to live with all along. I am not sure that you were ever truly the same after she left. Mark said once that you died from a broken heart. I think he was pretty close to the truth.
One of the things I miss about you is that you were my cheerleader. I know we didn’t always get along, but after mom died, you were my cheerleader. Mom’s death really brought us close. I think we both got to really know each other for who we were after her funeral. You no longer saw me as a 5 year old with pigtails and I came to know you for the loving and compassionate person Mom always saw you as being. I miss having you to talk to about everything. You became one of my best friends. There really wasn’t anything you and I could not talk about those last few years. We helped each other face our fears and come to solutions. We talked about how you wanted to live your life without mom and faced your fears about what your final days were going to be like.
You were the one I could talk to about my mom. You knew all the mom stories and loved to tell them and I loved to hear them. I miss having you to do that with.
I have my own memories of you that I don’t have anyone to remember with. I miss being able to talk about how you and I used to go out on dates when I was younger. I miss hearing your story about how the Miss American diner was named after me. I miss hearing your story about how you picked me out of the adoption supermarket, even though I always knew there was no such thing.
Yeah, there are some things about our relationship I wish were different; sometimes we didn’t get along. However, what I remember most was the good times. The trips to the Clove Street Park, the rides on the Staten Island ferry, the trips to Katz’s delicatessen. I remember getting dressed up in my patent leather Mary Janes and fancy dresses to go out to dinner and the movies with you.
I remember going to work with you and sitting at the desk calling you and pretending to be your assistant. I remember riding the elevator at Lightolier, the kidney shaped conference table, and this clunky adding machine.
I remember how you took care of mom when she got sick. I remember how you never abandoned her. I remember how you gave her everything she had and did everything you could to make sure she was safe and comfortable. I remember how committed you were to her and how you were with her when she took her last breath.
The love and commitment you and mom shared is part of the legacy that I carry with me even to this day. It is that in good times and in bad times, I am still going to love you attitude.
One of the other gifts you gave me was the love of writing. I do love to write. It is perhaps my favorite form of art. Through my writing, I can express myself in ways that my mouth does not seem to want to work. It’s as if once I get my words on paper, then I can speak them. Writing for me is not a luxury; it is a necessity.
Perhaps the greatest gift you gave me was love. I know you didn’t need to bring me home. You didn’t need to open your heart to me, but you did. With the exception of those times when you were drunk, you always made me feel loved. I remember how you were my protector when I was in grade school. I remember how you came to my defense when you saw anybody beating me up, although I know you knew I could take care of myself and hold my own. Even when you know I was tough, you still saw me as your little girl.
Even when you knew I was not five anymore, you still never let me forget that I was your little girl. Maybe that’s why you were so protective about whom I dated. I think when you met Zoe you knew she was the one who was going to be with me for the rest of my life. I know you saw in her for me, what mom saw in you for her. I am so grateful that the two of you got to know each other and that I have her in my life to tell daddy stories with. I remember the day you told me she was a good person and that you gave your blessing to our relationship.
I remember the time that you wanted to drive down to Baltimore to beat Vicky up for the way she dumped me. I don’t think you really wanted to beat her up, I think you just wanted to comfort me, because you knew I was hurting. In good times and in bad I always knew that you loved me.
I miss you. I always will. I am glad you are with Mom again and pray that there is this awesome dance floor in heaven for the two of you to sail across. I have this vision sometimes of you training the waitresses in heaven’s restaurants how you want to be served.
Thank you for being you. I love you daddy, more than you will ever know. I miss you sooooooooooooooooo much. I will always be your little girl.