Dear Dad...
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Dear Dad,

You grew up in a house full of boys and somehow ended up marrying into a family that was dominated by girls. I don’t know how you did it. I don’t know how you put up with your daughters, wife, nieces, and granddaughters during the 19 years that you were married to mom. You must have loved all of us—a ton.

You taught me how to type on a computer and play the Tetris game on our family desktop. You were always buying the latest technology even if it wasn’t exactly affordable. I still remember when you were so excited to stand in line for two hours to buy an iPad. I didn’t exactly understand your love for Apple products when I was a kid, but hey, I guess it rubbed off on me because I’m currently typing this on my Mac.

The night before you died, I remember that I made you mac and cheese. You didn’t like mac and cheese as much as I did, but you still let me make dinner without complaining because you knew it made me happy. It still makes me sad that I can’t make more memories with you, but I’m glad our last memory together was positive.

After you died, I questioned every single action I took during the time that the police were looking for you. I questioned whether I should have stayed out until 4 a.m. to help the officers look for you instead of falling asleep on the living room floor while the news reporters were outside of our house. I questioned why I didn’t ask the police officer at the top of the street to help me look for you when I initially realized that you were missing. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but I wish I would have known it was a big deal at the start of the search.

At your funeral, I didn’t cry. There were at least 250 people in that little chapel, so I knew I could not cry. I wanted to prove to your former colleagues that you raised an incredible daughter who could handle any situation that was thrown at her. I didn’t cry, but I was so scared. I was only 16 years old and I didn’t know how to navigate through life without my best friend. You were always there for me and I didn’t know what to do without you.

It’s been nearly two years since you’ve died and there isn’t one day that has passed where I haven’t thought about you. I still think about all the times you drove me to dance team practice during middle school and how you always seemed to know how to fix anyone’s computer. I got to spend 16 years with an amazing dude as my dad. Now I just have to prove to you that I can do great things while you’re watching over me.

Love you so much, mister,

Carlee

** My father died from a form of Atypical Parkinsonism called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. PSP is a rare neurodegenerative disease that does not receive an adequate amount of funding for research. If you would like to read more about Parkinson’s, please look at the National Parkinson Foundation website.

http://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/...

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