To My Dad
* I thank you for all of your smiles... I think we smiled the same
* Thank you for being the best nap buddy... you were just the right size for comfort.
* Thank you for your tears when you first met me. It took me 30 years to believe you truly loved me and now it just overwhelms me.
* Thank you for working so hard... wearing on your health, to provide for me a beautiful life.
* Thank you for involving me in the things you enjoyed most: golfing, boating, birds, church.
* Thank you for being my favorite... I missed you while you worked and now as an adult I see how much I grew to be like you... I'm glad I have you stamped on my character.
*Thank you for letting Mom and I go on great vacations while you worked hard to send us around the world.
* Thank you for telling me I was beautiful... I know that your other daughter would have loved to hear it.
* Thank you for struggling in front of me and for never claiming to be perfect. I think it only made me want to honor you more as your child.
* Thank you for bringing me up Catholic. I'm not Catholic anymore, but I never gave up on God.
* Thank you for spoiling my mother with gifts and jewels. It was really nice to see such lavish love.
* Thank you for showing me that we can mess up and do it better the in the future. I am so proud that you stuck to the marriage true to your vows... 34 years. I never should have doubted you.
* Thank you for being the only dad in my heart. I should have given you so much more credit. Your choosing to love me means the world to me.
* Thank you for teaching me how to clam with my toes and how to eat lobster down to the exoskeleton. I still love lobster.
Even after 13 years of not seeing you, it startles me to realize how much I remember about you. I startles me how much I was in denial. I wonder what advice you still had to give me. You did alright up until then.
* I remember that you liked soft boiled eggs, egg salad and grilled cheese sandwiches.
* You drank Michelob Light
* You had a Navy tattoo on your arm that you got lasered off.
* You played the Beatles on record at home
* You had the classic books: Poe, Cicero, Plato
* We watched Star Trek together
* We went to St. John's three times in a row... the only three vacations I remember with you... I loved all three of us being together.
* You were so proud of that big stupid car phone you had in your Mercedes.
* You always seemed like you had something to prove to everyone else... but never to me. You were just fine to me, Daddy.
* I don't remember you ever badmouthing mom to me. You had wise restraint... and look at how long you were married. =)
* I remember hitting golf balls with you and hunting for them in the woods.
* I remember how peaceful you were tending to our garden... and I never understood the love and heart I was nourishing myself with as a child.
* I remember how you didn't say anything to me about hitting the side of the garage with the side mirror of our Jeep Wagoneer when I was 15. I made a bad decision and you trusted me enough not to do it again.
* I remember you not being good with talking, but great with writing letters in business and to me. Maybe that's why I love to write.
* I remember that you were the one who named me...
Isn't it weird that the day I find out you passed on I wrote about another person who passed on. Isn't it weird that the day I found out you passed on, a student did a presentation on Edgar Allen Poe. And a light came on that your Anniversary was in April... I hope you made it this year.
My main regret is that I never saw you as a person with their own wounds and struggles. I guess it's a childlike thing to "idolize" the father and that obscures the fact that you were still just a normal person. I feel like I should have given you more grace and mercy. I now see that I had you in the palm of my hands; that I had the power to make you feel loved and successful... to make you think the best of yourself. I am left to cry over your pain by myself where I should have cried WITH you. It breaks my heart how quickly I am willing to overlook everyone else's faults, but I never did that with you. I feel a Heavenly finger pointed at myself. I should have ignored your speck when I was a child.
And the last thing I can remember is singing "Wind beneath my Wings" three times during your 50th Birthday party. And now I see that you really were my hero and I'm glad you've flown high... into Heaven. May your pain be forgotten and may you know the purest love for the rest of eternity. I thank God for you. Love, Meredith