Letter To My Father

Posted: August 21, 2012 in Family
Tags: , , , , ,

My mother will let me know later this week if she wants me to fly out there. My family dynamics is interesting. My mother is not an emotional woman and doesn’t want to face the emotional feelings that may come up if I go there. We get along very well but inside of her mind if I went there it might signal to her that my father is going to pass away. I can’t explain it but that is the dynamic. So, I asked her to print out and take this letter and read it to my father. He doesn’t have a phone in his ICU room and he goes in and out of consciousness – he is lucid and then sometimes he isn’t. She will visit him and read this to him if he is able to understand. When he is in a state of understanding what is going on around him she calls me so that I may speak with him. Some folks have told me to just fly out there. That isn’t how things are done in my family. We are a military family and emotional consideration is not always allowed.

Dad,

I love you. I really do. We don’t always agree on things and even when we fought or disagreed I never once doubted that you loved me.  Ialways felt safe with you and I still do. I brag to my friends about you. I am so proud so tell people you are my father. I know that right now it’s frightening with what is happening to you. I understand why you want to take off the tubes. I did the same thing when I was in the hospital when I underwent my surgery for my carotid artery. I didn’t know if I would be okay. The oxygen tube is so uncomfortable and so it the catheter. But, I had to remember that even though I didn’t like it I had to keep using them to stay alive. I don’t like not being in control and it is such a helpless feeling to have to lay in the hospital bed day after day. It was like that for me when I had my knee surgery. I just wanted to leave. I understand what you are going through. I wish more than anything I could make it better for you like you used to make it better for me when I was little.

Try and keep your mind on fun things if you can. Like the time I was little and home sick in Maryland and you bundled me up and took me outside sledding and made me promise not to tell mom. I had so much fun. I still remember you holding me and taking me up the hill and then sledding down. It was my first memory of you and  it was so much fun! Then you took me back home and tucked me in. I didn’t tell mom for 45 years later. Remember when we told her? It was so funny.

Or time time you woke me up early to go fishing. You stinker– you were always able to talk me into a bet over whoever caught the first fish didn’t have to clean them. I always wound up cleaning them. I never learned as I would make those silly bets each time. You took me fishing for the first time just outside of Rome. We didn’t catch anything but I sure had fun simply hanging out with you. Or when you took me golfing at Fort Ord and when you made a bad swing you wouldn’t curse but say, ‘oh you dirty dog’

Or how about the time you were eating Calamari at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey and gave me a bite and I said oh that is so yummy. Then you said that you would buy us some if I cleaned it. I had no idea what calamari looked like. You stinker!

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up but you and mom always provided and you gave us a great education. You always took us places throughout Europe when we lived there. Most of my friend’s parents would always stay home but you would always take us on road trips and taught us to respect other cultures. You understood the importance of teaching us about culture. Remember when Tracie was 6 and used to help make wine across the steet with the nice Italian family who lived across from us and came home drunk? haa

But, I also remember the time I was on restriction and you let me off restriction if I played chess with you. I let you win you know!! On those rare times I beat you. (I think I only beat you twice and that was me just being lucky. Or you let me win. No, I take that back. I got lucky) You made me play again until you beat me!

There are so many memories and good times we had and I cherish all of them. I know it’s hard for you right now but if you can just know that if I had to live it all over again I would still always pick you to be my dad and brag about you. I’m proud of you. You have been and always are my Superman. Of course you are more fatheaded than Superman but you are my fathead and no one elses. So, please try and remember good times and fun memories if you can to help you get through this.

I spoke with Uncle Vincent and he told me about how you helped hold him up on your shoulders when he was 16 years old during the Kennedy inauguration he could see President Kennedy. That is the kind of man you are. He said that he remembered this strong man in uniform coming up to him asking, ‘hey kid you wanna see the president’ Uncle Vinny laughed when he told me that and said, ‘kid, that was your dad for you.’

I remember you taking me to the comic book store as a kid in Naples. That was always fun as the other kid’s dad didn’t do fun stuff like that with them. Most of them had to go by themselves. I loved doing that with you. When you took me trick or treating and took all my bubble gum. I didn’t care that you took my bubble gum as that was your cut in the candy goods. You always let me keep the good stuff.

I didn’t always win first place in sports but no matter what you were always there supporting me and my favorite trophy was the one I won with you. I knew that whenever I was doing sports I could turn around and see you in the stands supporting me.

Get better soon dad – just be patient with yourself about getting better. Sometimes it takes longer to get better. I know you want to be home. You will be soon and when you get all better we can argue about the coming election if you want to! I might even let you win that argument.

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