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Letters to Nowhere

Saturday, May 22, 2004


Dear Dad,

I was thinking of you tonight after our phone call. And I started to think about all the crazy and wonderful things you did for me while I was growing up. I just wanted to write you this letter to tell you that I love you and that never have I regretted the fact that you were the one to raise me.

I remember so many small things you did. And now that I have a child I know how much you sacrificed for me. I remember in the court proceeding I was called to talk to the judge. I know I was very young and he asked me a lot of questions about our life together and who I wanted to live with, you or mom. I remember telling him how much you loved me, and that new clothes or shoes did not matter to me. And I hope I can instill that love and pride and respect into James the way you have with me.

I remember pillow fights in the old place before you married Cindy. You teaching me to ride my bike in the apartments near where Madison lived. The time we went to Boone Park in the middle of the night because it was too crowded during the day. The pine straw fights in the Swiss cheese walls at Boone Park. One time we were coming back from somewhere and you were waiting to make a left turn across several lanes of traffic, there was a car coming with his right turn signal on…when I asked why you didn’t go ahead and turn you told me the turn signal might be on by accident and to always wait. Sure enough the guy didn’t turn. You taking me to see the planes land, teaching me to drive, going to the drive in, and always doing your best to never lie to me and to keep every promise you made. All of these things and a hundred more are why I am so utterly grateful that you were the one who was given the responsibility to see me to adulthood.

I strive to live up to the high ideals you set for me as to what a good parent is. I know that James has benefited from all the wonderful things you did for me. These memories and so many more inspire me to keep trying and keep faith that everything will work out. We had bad times too that I know. However what you see as faults keep coming up to me as the very things that developed me into what I am. A woman of strong will. I know what responsibility, respect, honesty and integrity are because of some of our bad times. Would I know these things if we had lived like kings? New clothes and nice houses and cars are great but I doubt they would have taught me to value hard work and dedication.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I know you missed out on a lot of your childhood because of me. Would you take back the choice to raise me to get back those carefree years? I doubt it. And I wouldn’t give up the rough times and poor times we went through. Probably for the same reason you wouldn’t do it differently. They were what made us who we are.

You are the living testament to the statement “Anyone can be a father, it takes a man to be a dad” You were and are a wonderful dad. I love you and know that were anything to happen to me James could be in no better hands.

Now don’t you go poo-pooing all my good cry down memory lane because you think you made terrible mistakes and that I missed out on so much. I mean this, you were great. And you were right, now that I have a child of my own I do understand what kind of parent you were…unselfish, caring, supportive, and patient.

Well, I’m gonna go give my boy some hugs and kisses and thank God for your love and dedication the whole time.



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