Dear Dad,

This isn't easy for me to write. When you clutched my hand as you were lying down on that hospital bed nine years ago,I wanted to die. I still haven't completely registered what has happened. It all happened so fast. Your memory faded, you became very ill, and before I knew it, I was standing over you as your eyes slowly shut forever. I remember feeling numb for a very long time. I didn't think of the bad times when you were sick, but I didn't even think of the good times either. It was too painful, too real to accept. There were only certain days like your birthday and father's day that triggered my memories. Even though I don't consciously think about you, everything I do is for you. I am never satisfied with how things turn out because I always want to do better.

I constantly want to prove myself because the thought "Is he proud of who I am?" is on the back of my mind. I pour my heart out into people and situations that I cannot control because somehow that temporarily fills the void of not being able to save you. When you became sick, you also became very scared to be alone. I never left your side and I still did not want to leave your side when you left this earth.When I talk about you.. I can never finish my sentence because my throat closes up and my eyes become welled with tears. I can't remember the last day that you remembered me as your daughter, and that kills me.

I wish I was mature enough to have been able to thank you for everything before your memory faded. I wish I was able to understand that you were nearing the end. I wish I was able to have one more day to tell you how much I have missed you since you've been away.I now find myself thinking about all the things I won't be able to have with you not around. I know I'm lucky to have had you when I did, but naturally..this still tears away at me. Since I have been away from college, I've walked passed our favorite ice cream shop, and our old house, and I have talked about you.I am making an effort to feel the pain I've so successfully pushed down and masked with other things. I cry..frequently, but I know this must be done and I cannot mask the pain anymore.

Sometimes I just want to hide because it's you I'm thinking about. Sometimes I want to call you but I know you can't answer me. Dad, there is one last thing you need to know. I don't blame you for how things have turned out for mom and I. You did the best you could.You were the best dad I could have ever asked for and anyone who knew you, knew how much of a great man you were. You live on in my heart. I will do what I have to do to become a better person. I love you.

Jackie