I Was Born To Love Him

November 25, 2012

My Running

Dear Dad,

I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many things on my mind. All my childhood memories are scattered and mixed up with my adult memories.

One time I wrote you a long letter, and to be honest with you, I don’t remember exactly what I said but I do remember it was hurtful. I probably tried to make you feel bad and I probably blamed you for whatever way I was feeling. I also remember it halted our father/daughter relationship for about six months. I made an “amends” for sending that letter and for not thinking ahead of time how hurtful it could have been. I have never done anything like that since. But I want a do-over in the letter writing department. So here is a different letter.

Even though growing up was a lot of work of being your right hand helper; it helped shaped me into the person I am today. And I really like who I am today, so thank you.

Even though our family was not rich; you bought me things that many kids didn’t get. Namely the jukebox stereo that had a recordable 8-track! And my mo-ped. Those were probably my two favorite things. The best surprise from you was when you came home with a handheld radio and said it was for me. And I could listen to my music wherever I was at. Remember we liked that song “disco duck”? Hahaha!!! Omg what a corny song.

I hated (at the time) having to help with home improvement projects while I was growing up. But I am so glad to have those memories now as an adult. I got to be a part of landscape transformation, laying brick, making sidewalks, cleaning a garage floor, building a BBQ, remodeling a room, knocking down walls, building a patio, and making driveways. The list goes on and on. The best part of those projects was when they were over, and you were so happy with whatever change was made.

You’re the smartest man I know. The only man I’ve ever known in my entire life who can fix anything. The only man who can make anything work. The only man who can look at something and “just figure it out”. You can open the hood of a car, and figure out what’s wrong with it. You can (9 times out of 10) look at a situation and predict the outcome.

The type of grandfather you are has always melted my heart. When I see you hug my girls and tell them you love them—has forever changed the way I see you. I grew up with a man who wasn’t so touchy feely. It was just the way it was. But it changed and you have been the dad that loves his daughter and says it and shows it. I am lucky you are my dad.

You are a good dad. You are a loving dad. You are a funny dad. You are a strong dad. You are a smart dad. You are an understanding dad. You are a good listener dad. You are all those things those cheesy hallmark cards say that dads are.

So heres another letter for you Dad. Another letter to keep and read again and again anytime you wonder what kind of dad you are. Something to read again and again anytime you wonder how much you are loved.

I am lucky that you are my dad.

Lucky lucky lucky.

I Love You,
Poo

I meant to read and give this letter to my dad for his birthday which is in February. But something happened that made me change my mind, and so I read it to him sooner rather than later.

On Thanksgiving night my dad was choking. At first it started out as coughing. I thought with water and some air he would be okay. But it kept getting worse. I followed him outside and it took me a second to realize something was not right. When I got closer and heard him wheezing this horrible sound I don’t think I could ever forget—I flew into the house to call 911. I said to my nephew “I’m calling 9-1-9-9-1-9….”. I couldn’t say the number “9-1-1”. As I reached for the phone I wondered “why is this moving in slow motion. Why am I seeing my hands reach for this phone. Why does this feel so unreal?” I dialed 911 and yelled for them to get here, my dad was choking and couldn’t breathe. The neighbor was called to do the Heimlich maneuver. I don’t remember what else was said or what questions I was asked. And I don’t remember who came into the room to tell me my dad was okay. I told the operator to hang on while I went to go see for myself.

I hugged my dad which is nothing new. But that night I hugged him for a solid two minutes and told him don’t ever do that to me again. And as I was hugging him, he was talking to the rest of the family. His voice was raspy and raw. And all I kept thinking was: “I don’t ever want to lose my dad.”

Life is so fucking precious. So fucking fragile. I spent many years angry at my childhood. And with every right. But thank God that at some point in my adult life I let it go. Because the relationship I have with my dad today, and the relationship I have had for years now, is based on humor, love, and forgiveness.

The next morning I made some hot chocolate for me and my dad. And I sat with him while we sipped on our yummy hot chocolate. With whipped cream. Him talking at a normal level, and me talking much louder because he can’t hear that great. His choking incident didn’t make me regret anything or feel guilty about anything–but it made me want to take notice and memorize.

Memorize the way he watched me put whip cream in his hot chocolate.
Memorize the way he talks to his dog.
Memorize the way he looks at me when I talk to him.
Memorize the way his hair is smashed on one side of his head from sleeping.
Memorize the way he shuffles around in the morning.
Memorize the way he laughs when he pisses my mom off.
Memorize the way he sounds.

Yes. Memorize the way he sounds.

I love you, Dad. Don’t leave me just yet. I still need you.


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Me and my dad. This picture was taken about 4 hours before the scare.


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My dad with his dog, April. He talks to her all the time and she maintains eye contact with him!


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Life is full of moments to memorize.


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About rsouleret

I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I work full time. And I run. ILML.

View all posts by rsouleret

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