I wrote a letter to my mom around Mother’s Day (you should read it first), so it’s time to write one to my Dad I think.
You know how mom pushed me away when I was born because she thought she was going to pass out? You didn’t. There is a picture in the family photo album of you holding me and grinning like the Cheshire Cat in your green scrubs. I love that photo. The first memory I have of you Mom swears I am too young to remember, but I do. You were chasing me around a swimming pool in Florida and pretending you were going to throw me in. Don’t ask me how I remember it, I do. Looking through the photos later, I realized I was only about 1.5 years old when it happened. Shhhhh don’t tell Mom I remembered you first.
Hey Dad? I loved watching you get ready for work. There was just something neat about seeing you walk around in a t-shirt and those god awful pants, while strapping on your bullet proof vest, your actual uniform top, you normal belt, and your gun belt. I loved the way your boots were always shiny and the meticulous care you took of them. When the dreaded day comes that you leave this Earth, if I could ask for one physical memory of you, it would be the photo of you as a rookie police officer. I love that photo.
Do you remember coming to all of my softball games? Oh there were times I wanted to just yell at you to SHUT UP when you were helping coach. It shouldn’t matter if I threw the ball to first base and got the out there instead of at second base. It was the third out, and I could zing a ball from shortstop to first a lot faster. You drove me crazy sometimes. But Dad, you were the one who taught me how to throw a ball anyway. You were the one who taught me how to hit, and practiced with me all the time. I know when Tim was born Mom thought she would get her “little girl” back, but boy was she wrong. Do you remember the time you were teasing me when we were walking home from the ballpark and said I was a “slow runner”? Do you remember me racing you home and smoking you? IN YOUR FACE Dad!!! I was so happy at that moment because I knew I was finally growing up. I beat you at something…fair and square. I could tell by your face it shocked you too.
Hey Dad? You came to almost every single one of my band concerts, and then best part was, you actually enjoyed it. You talked to me afterwards about the songs you liked, and your eyes shone with tears when Jack Stamp said I was one of the best piccolo players he’d heard in a long time, in front of a packed auditorium. Only once did you ever interrupt my practice to ask me “If I REALLY needed to play those two lines over and over and over???” when my answer was “YES” you said “alright then” and let me go back to it. You taught me discipline, so I guess you had no choice but to walk away!
There are a few things I have been angry with you about over the years. All has been forgiven except kicking me out of the house over religious reasons. Dad, you didn’t raise me to be a certain religion. You let me explore and find my own way. You never refused knowledge to me. When I picked my own way, YOU changed into someone else and expected me to follow as an adult. You tried to force it and you were wrong for that. I think I could let it go if you sincerely apologized for it, however, knowing how stubborn you are, I doubt I will ever hear it. I want to forgive you for it anyway, but it still hurts. I’m trying, and I hope one day you can work on that apology too.
Even though we had that horrible moment in our lives, you have been really great since then. I know I can call you when I need advice and I know you will give it to me, and you’ll tell me the truth. I love it that you threatened to shoot my boyfriends if they ever hit me. I love it that you taught me never to hit first, but to kick the crap out of anyone who ever dared to lay a hand on me. I love knowing that even at almost thirty, I can call you and you will do whatever you can to help your “little girl” whether it is just to let me hear your voice or because I really need you in some way.
I love you Dad,