June 16, 2006

Dear Dad

Note: I wrote this post earlier in the week for The Blogfathers. I am reposting it here on my personal blog so my own children can read it in the future.


Hi Dad.

This August it will have been 29 years since that fateful day. The day your life ended and my life changed forever. I’m not sure if I’ve told you this since you left, but I miss you so much sometimes. I was only six when you died and I was just beginning to get to really know you. Now, when I close my eyes and try real hard, I think I remember you but I can’t really be sure. I see your face and I remember bits and pieces – like your smile or the way you smelled. The rest, I’m afraid, just might be figments of my imagination fueled by old photographs and stories culled from family members.

I don’t remember your voice. I don’t remember your touch. I don’t remember you ever telling me you loved me. But I do remember some things. I remember you playing with my little brother and calling him your “little bear.” You rolled on the floor with him and blew raspberries on his belly. It is the one memory I have where you are acting like the father I so want to be. Everytime I blow raspberries on my son and daughter’s belly, I think of you.

That’s right, you’re a grandfather now. It’s something I’m sure you would have been good at. TheMonk and Swee’Pea would have loved you so much. Now that I’m a father, more than ever, I have come to realize how much I missed by not having you around. I missed playing catch, going camping, having someone to talk to about girl stuff and how to be a man. I had to figure that out almost on my own.

I hope you’re proud of the man I’ve turned out to be, Dad. I’ve tried so hard to always do what’s right. I’ve tried even harder to be a good Dad myself. Everytime I hold those beautiful babies of mine somewhere, in the back of my mind, I think will this be the last time I hold them? If nothing, you leaving me has taught me to take nothing for granted – especially being a father. I love those little ones so much – as much as, I imagine, you loved me.

And that is the real reason I’m talking to you today. For so long I was angry at you for leaving me. I would sob myself to sleep as every fiber of my being ached for you to be with me again. For so long I pretended that you leaving me didn’t matter – in fact, I’m embarrassed to say, I sometimes told myself that I was better off. I know now, how untrue that is. I know now, how much you must have hated leaving me that day. I know now how much you must have loved me. I know all of that now because I’m a father too.

So, thank you Dad for loving me – even if you could only be with me on this earth for a short time. Even though I’m about to turn 35 years old, in many ways I’m still a little boy reaching out for his father. And I know now, as I look into the eyes of my own son, that you are still within arms reach. And in that thought, I feel comfort.

In a few days, Father’s Day will be upon us. It will be my second Father’s Day. And while I’m playing with TheMonk and Swee’Pea, I will be thinking of you too and hoping that you know how much you still mean to me after all of these years.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you.

1 Comment

  1. Matthew, I can assure you your father loved you so very, very much. Your Dad was so proud of you and Ben. He loved
    children more than anything, and especially his own! I so wish that you and Ben could have known him better! And yes,
    your Dad would have been SO proud of you, as I am. You are a wonderful father and a wonderful man. By the way, you are sensitive just like your Dad and you laugh like him also!
    Love you Much, Aunt Raina

    Comment by Raina — June 19, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

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