Christmas Of Remembrance Series: I Am My Father’s Son

Christmas Of Remembrance Series: I Am My Father’s Son

The letter I never wanted to write but need to.

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Dear Dad,

I'm lost.

That's it. I am simply lost. I have been ever since I lost… you.

Sad. Depressed. Guilty. Broken. Buried. Empty. Hollow. Lost.

Words. All just words. The feeling has been beyond words.

You died on February 2nd, 2013. Groundhog day. I was there. I didn't find you, but I might as well have. It all started like any other weekend at your house. I was sixteen, still in high school, and still following the same damn visitation rotation I had been for years. But… it wasn't exactly the same. Things seemed off. You were acting a bit funny. Sounded like some mid-life crisis talk going on. We ran into people all around the same place. Didn't seem out of the ordinary at the time. Other things and conversations that went on that evening… again, it didn't seem weird at the time, but now looking back on it, it was strange. It was all so strange.

We each stayed up late into the night, as we often did. You were working hard, too hard, even though you were supposed to cut back. I was doing whatever pointless shit I did at the time. Our very last conversation was only about 5 seconds. Something around that. And it was about something computer related. Nothing big. Nothing complex. Nothing meaningful. Nothing.

I woke up the next morning to the sounds of commotion upstairs. I laid in bed until Grandpa knocked on my door to tell me that something was wrong with you. Paramedics were working on you. The house was full of people upstairs. I was sitting in your office when I heard a blood-curdling scream from upstairs. I knew what that meant, but I didn't want to believe it. I asked God, demanded that he give you back to me. Grandpa came in. He said you didn't make it. It was official. It was real. You were gone.

You were dead.

That was the start, I believe. The start of my journey battling depression. It didn't come to fruition 'til later but that was the start. Kristen's death planted the seeds, but yours grew them. Ever since then, I have longed for something missing. There is so much I still want to know about you, your life. So many questions about that night. About the mystery that still seems to surround you. I know, because it tends to surround me too. We are very similar, if not identical people in many ways, Daddy.

There were many wonderful things about you, Dad. Things that I will teach my children. Things I wish to emulate. But you weren't perfect, and neither am I. And... I would be lying if I said that there aren't things about you that make me question you, but that is ok. If I weren't to question you, I would be betraying you. Because then I wouldn't learn from you. I see many of your gifts in myself, but I also see some of your demons. I hope that they never take control, the way they would of you sometimes. I know that was all mainly in the past, but some were still there. I could tell. I am afraid that they live in me, as well. I guess only time will tell. Until then, I will always fight to make sure that they are beaten, if they show up.

I miss so many things... Your crazy antics, fun personality, ability to have fun and not take yourself so seriously, and the way you would teach me things even though you may not have known it. I miss seeing how you impacted people, even if you were just fixing their computer. I miss knowing how protected we were when you were here. I miss our Nerf gun battles. I miss the JMU football games. I miss playing catch or Baseball in your back yard. I missed you when you couldn't be there. I miss when you could be there.

I know this to be true, though: you don't need to be perfect to be the greatest dad in the world.

That is what you were. I hope to achieve this high honor, and maybe even one-up you. I will teach your Grandchildren all that you taught me, and I will make sure that they know the kind of man that their Grandfather was, and that he would have adored and loved them to the ends of the earth, just as he did his children. This I swear to you, my father.

Now, this Christmas season… your favorite time of year, I hope that you can somehow hear these words. Hear me. And, one thing is absolutely certain, I eagerly await the day that I can see you again, Daddy. I know you will be there, waiting for me.

I love you with all my heart. Merry Christmas.

Tyler

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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