To My Dad Who's No Longer With Me,
This is so difficult to write. I don't even know where to begin. From a very young age, we had a very special bond. You were my best friend. I looked up to you more than anyone else. That is still true to this day. We created so many memories together and I will always hold onto them in my heart. You have taught me a numerous amount of lessons. Some we never even spoke about. I just observed the strength you carried and I learned a lot from you. I am not saying you are perfect. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes in life. I was there for you during your mistakes, and you were there for me during mine, while you were still with me. I recently made a mistake. I wish you could've been there for me. You are the most understanding person in the world. You always supported me. Nothing I could do would ever change that. However, I know you better than ANYONE else knows you. You were the closest to me. Sometimes I know exactly what you'd say to me in certain situations and that helps me get through them.
I want you to know that you are one of the strongest people I know. Ultimately, depression and addiction won, but you put up one hell of a fight. That is what I think of when you pop into my head, a fighter, and how you taught me to mentally fight. You taught me to push through every day. You taught me to fight for what I want. You taught me to never give up, on myself, and on other people. I never talked to you about this, but you taught me the meaning of love and what love really entails. You were married to my mom for 13 years and then you got divorced. You know your drinking was the reason for it. You got divorced when I was in 6th grade. Even since that day, no matter how ugly things got between you two, you never stopped loving her. You didn't give up on her. Even when she was dating other people you still told her that you loved her and wanted our family to be a family again. You made your mistake and I know that you were putting up a fight for yourself, for your kids, and for her. You taught me that if you truly love someone, you don't give up on them. You didn't give up. You tried to keep it a secret but of course I knew. I admire you so much for that and that is what love means to me. Love is never giving up hope to make things work. Love is trying every possible thing to make things better. Love is not giving up because that person means more to you than anyone else ever could.
I miss you so much. I miss having someone who was so concerned about my well being and my future. Sometimes it irritated me how much you wanted to talk about school. Now, I'd do anything in the world to have one last conversation about it. I miss you telling me you are proud of me. I miss having someone to make proud. I miss printing out my report cards and putting them on your desk. You believed in me. You believed that I could accomplish anything I went after. You were my support system. You are the hardest worker I will ever know. I look up to you for that. Life threw so much at you and you never stopped working so hard.
I appreciate everything you've done for me. I appreciate you working so hard for Lauren, my mom, and I. Everything you did was for us. Everything. I appreciate you going out of your way to make me happy. I appreciate you driving me to concerts, taking me to New York to see Ariana, taking me to Harry Potter World, and taking me to the beach. The list of things itself could be much longer than this letter.
I took a lot for granted. I took you always asking me if I ate for granted. I would get pissed off when you demanded that I ate before I left your house. I would do anything to sit down and have grilled cheese and soup with you one last time. I'd do anything for you to make me your "bitchin" pasta sauce again. I took you always checking my car out for granted. I took your "drive safe it's snowing!!" texts for granted. You were always so concerned about me in every aspect. I feel like I didn't appreciate it enough while I had it.
You saw the light in me. Even in my darkest times, you always saw the light in me. You always knew I could push through any situation, any mistake, or any loss. You were by my side the day I told you I didn't want to be on this earth anymore. You saw the light in me and you knew I would find the light in myself one day. You supported me when I messed up. You always had advice for me. You always told me that I could tell you anything, and I did. You were always there. You always reminded me how strong I am. I got that from you.
You taught me so many life lessons. My favorite one to talk about is your favorite quote that you lived by, "We build too many walls and not enough bridges" (Issac Newton). You always told me that life is too short to leave things on bad terms. Life is too short to have ill feelings towards someone. Life is too short to fight with people you love. I will take that lesson on with me and apply it to my life every day. I got a little bridge tattoo for you to remember that lesson you instilled in me. I know if you could actually read this you'd roll your eyes and say "seriously? another tattoo?" Sometimes it makes me smile to think about what you would say to things. I can hear it in your voice.
I wish we could've had more time together. I feel like life robbed me. I am angry because of it. I am sad because of it. I wanted you to see me graduate college and know that I got through it because of you. I wanted to hear you screaming "Go J!!!" like at my high school graduation. I wanted you to go house and car shopping with me. I wanted you to meet the person I eventually marry. I wanted you to meet your grandkids. I wanted to make so many more memories with you.
Even though my time with you ran out, I will always make our stories live on. We were partners in crime...literally. I will always cherish the time I had with you. I will become better not bitter. I will remember the good moments instead of thinking that we won't have anymore moments. You are in my heart and in my mind with everything I do. Every single day I will try and make you proud. I will become a woman you would be more than proud of to call your daughter. You aren't physically in my life anymore but you will ALWAYS be with me. I miss you and I love you "beyond words". You will always be my best friend, my role model, and my hero. Happy Father's Day Daddy.