Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
You must know how much I miss you.
I know you're there, somewhere, still a part of my life. Still watching over me. Still keeping an eye on me and guiding me when I need a helping hand.
When I hear the dishes settle on the drainboard, I think, "Hi, Dad!"
When I see a gardening book, I think of you.
When I see an Oldsmobile, I think of you.
When I visit the Harley Davidson factory and I smell the odor of machinery and grease, I think of you.
When Jack starts a project at the house, I think of you. (And I hope you keep an eye on him,
When I see a cemetery, I think of you.
Whenever it's March 16, or June 14, or July 25, or August 12, or December 18, I think of you.
Whenever I have a moment, I think of you. It doesn't really require a specific thing to make me think of you - you're still so much a part of my every day life that even though you've been gone since March 16, 1987, I talk to you every day. I think of you every day. I miss you every day.
When I got married, I stood up on that altar, wishing not for a happy marriage, but that you were there. I prayed for a sign from you: a breeze in that hotter-than-hot church, a window slamming, a car backfiring - I wanted you there so badly that anything would have been a sign from you!!! I wanted you to walk me down the aisle. I wanted to dance that father-daughter dance the worst way. To this day, nine years after I got married, twenty-one years after you died, I can't watch a bride dance with her dad without crying. And it doesn't matter who the bride is: Vanessa, Carrie, or a complete stranger on television. I cry. I miss you. And I am angry that I didn't get to dance with you on my wedding day.
But you know what? When it's time, when I move toward the light, when I die, you'd better be there to dance the first dance with me.
Happy Father's Day, Mr. S.
I wish you were here. I wish I got to have a father-in-law. I know I met you. I know you know who I am, and I truly believe that you know Jack and I are married and happy and I know you're happy for us.
And I'm happy to hear Patty talk about you and say that she knows you liked me, that you were happy when Jack and I were together, and that you were annoyed with him when we split up.
But I wanted to know all that in the first-person! I wanted to visit you during the week, have a cup of coffee or tea with you, and eat some sugar-free Jello with you. I wanted to see you with your grandchildren. (I truly believe if you and Mom were still here that all that nonsense with Johnny would never have happened. And if you're bored wherever you are, we could use a little help with your grandson!) I wanted to get to know you as your daughter-in-law, not just that nice girl that Jack was dating.
I'm going to have to settle for making you a part of my day, a part of our day, in all those small ways you would have been were you still here. I mention you to Jack, I ask him about you as a dad, as a grandfather. He misses you. So very much that he can't really talk about you without tearing up, and that's the way it should be. You know what he says? He says all those times you asked him to hang around and do some work with you and he didn't 'cause he was on his way out to play or to hang with his friends - he says he should have spent that time with you. He misses learning from you, learning to do things like create the Christmas wreaths and grave blankets. He does that for you. In your memory. In your honor. Not 'cause he really likes to do it. It makes him sad. But it's a way to keep you alive with us in a really small way.
I never got to tell you I love you in real life. I hope you know now, though, that I love you and I miss you. And I'm going to be the best daughter-in-law you ever had (not a tough task, I know, considering the competition!) and a great wife to your son. I promise.