Dear Dad,

How you doing old man?  It’s been a long time.  Happy birthday!!  How’s the afterlife going?  Is it cool?  You would have been 58 today.  So, what have you been up to?  Telling tall tales to all the Angels and Jesus?  I’m sure they enjoy your stories.  Have you been looking down on us much?  You should see your grandkids.  Dad… They’re growing up so fast.  Aaron is going to be a Junior in high school, and Tris is going into the second grade.  Aaron, being a teen, doesn’t talk about it much, but Tris misses the hell out of you.  He still remembers you, even though he was barely one when you left.
I’ve been doing okay. My leg is healed and  I’m working again.  I got a job working for Josh.  Remember him?  I’ve just been missing you a whole lot lately.  On my birthday, almost nobody called me, but the thing that affected me the most, was the fact that I’m still not used to the idea that you can’t call and sing me happy birthday anymore.  It’s been six years, and I still can’t get over the fact that you’re gone.  It doesn’t affect me on a daily basis, but some days, I just break down and cry.
You taught me a lot in life, and for that, I’m forever grateful.  You taught me what it means to be a real man.  Not being a “tough guy” or an asshole, but how to buckle down, and do what needs to be done, no matter how painful it might be to do the right thing.  You taught me a love for life, that can be enjoyed even during the worst of times.  You taught me that no amount of money or material items is more important than family.  You taught me how to keep moving forward, even though sometimes it seems as if there is no point to continue.
I’m sorry I wasn’t a better son when you were alive.  How many times I could have come to visit, and didn’t because I figured I could to it later.  I’m sorry for all the trouble I caused while growing up.  All the times I mouthed off and disrespected you.  We had some pretty bad arguments, and I remember one time, it almost came to blows.  But now that I’ve been a father for so long, I realize that none of that ever affected your love for me.  Just because we have a warped views of the world as kids and teens, doesn’t make a parent love us any less.  All we can do is hope that one day, our kids see the truth that we are just as lost as they are, and trying to do the right thing.
I know you didn’t feel like a good father either.  You were a great dad!  You did your best every day to give me a life that you didn’t have when you were growing up.  And even though we didn’t have a lot of money, I always had clothes on my back, and food in my stomach.
I’m sitting here this morning remembering you.  I can still hear your laugh, see your happy smile, and feel your arms around me as you gave me hugs.  I miss you so much dad.  I can still feel your hand in mine during your last moments in the hospital.  I can remember the look in your eyes when after three days in a coma, you opened your eyes and looked around the room at everyone.  I remember telling you it was time to go.  Your eyes settling on mine, squeezing my hand, and taking your last breath.  It still seems surreal.  I don’t regret for a second, being there for you during that time though.  I only hope when my time comes, my kids will be there for me as well.
Well, I have to get going dad.  Look in from time to time.  I like thinking that maybe in some way, you still look out for your baby boy.  At least I still get to see you every time I look into the mirror, or into Tristan’s  face.  In that way, you still live on.  I hold you forever in my heart dad.  Take care old man… I love you!!

Love,

B

In memory of Harold (Behr) Rupe  1954 – 2006

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