If you read my blog you know that I lost my mother at a very young age. Her death had the most profound impact on my life and has shaped who I am more than any other single event in my life. I often tell people that losing my mother so young defined my future in an instant. I’m sure I’ll continue to write more about how this has impacted me as an individual and as a mother, but for now I want to tell you about my dad. As hard as it has been for me and as much as it has defined my life, the loss of her was as significant to him.
At only 28 my father was left alone to parent two young girls (I was 4, my sister was 2). I can only imagine how scary and lonely that must have been for him. However he didn’t let it consume him, he stepped up and was the best father, the best daddy two girls could ever have. So here’s my letter:
Thank you for being everything to me. Thank you for being the father I needed always. Without you I would never have been able to heal and grow. You gave us as much love as two parents and for that I will always be grateful and in awe.
Thank you for being strong when all you probably wanted to do was run. We needed you and you were there for us. Thank you for being a daddy to two girls. How hard that must have been.
Thank you for working so hard, days, nights and weekends, so that we could have so many opportunities, for family vacations and to participate in activities.
Thank you for making dinner every night, especially spaghetti which is a favourite for all of us! Probably just because it reminds us of you.
Thank you for spending countless hours at the rink for figure skating, hockey, and ringette. I know you loved it, but you still deserve to be thanked. I will always remember the look of pride in your eyes the time I got to stand on the podium.
Thank you for always coming to get me at school when I was sick.
Thank you for all your help with my math homework. I used to secretly pretend I needed it just so we could sit and be together. It was magic!
Thank you for coming and listening to me speak in public speaking competitions over and over.
Thank you for running the roads at all hours of the night so we could go out with our friends.
Thank you for going to school meetings, especially the one to advocate that we should be able to wear what we wanted to our graduation. I don’t expect that was easy.
Thank you for always driving me to and picking me up from work no matter what the hour.
Thank you for being strict. I didn’t know it then, but I understand now how important it was.
Thank you for being so gentle and kind.
Thank you for being such an amazing grandfather, for loving my children as you did me and for making a difference in their lives.
Thank you for coming early mornings to take your grandson to daycare so that I could leave for work early in a snowstorm.
Thank you for helping us to build not one, but two houses. Your tender loving touch is all around me.
Thank you for being constant, and loving, and always on my side.
I’m all grown up now with two kids of my own. Yet still you are here for me whenever I need you. I might be an adult, but I still need you so much.
Love always and forever,
Sarah included an fabulous quote on her blog from one of my most favourite writers, so I’ll do the same.
“I’ve learned people forget what you said and what you did, but people never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou