Letter to my late father. June contest entry
You don't know how much I miss you. Every day your absence is keenly felt. I haven't given away your things yet or erased the physical evidence of you having lived here. Even when I get around to it, and sell the house, you will still live in my heart, just like Mom does.
I appreciate the home you gave me. When I was divorced, hating my job, and living from paycheck to paycheck, I moved back home to you in a safe, secure environment. I didn't mind cooking, cleaning, changing your bed in exchange for living in a nice house again. There was peace and tranquility with your gardens and bird feeding. your routines, stability, constancy, and strength made me feel like I could survive in this world. It was so free of the stress and worry that I had been enduring.
After my retirement, you did become increasingly dependent, but I didn't mind. My first concern was for you. I have spent a lot of time since your passing wondering what I could have done better. Did I miss some sign to take you to the ER sooner? Could I have made you more comfortable? Were you happy? I wish you were still here for me to put your shoes and socks on you or to cook your dinner.
I'm kind of at a loss about my future. I really like living in this neighborhood, in your house. But I can't afford the upkeep. I know I will have to sell it and give the others their share. I don't like getting rid of all your tools and collectibles, or Mom's crafts. I can't take them with me, wherever I go. I need to find a place where the whole family can still gather, and I can babysit Courtney's kids.
You would be so proud of all the kids. Scout and Tobin are both getting first place in their swim meets. We made a fort from recycled wood in your backyard. They helped Robert with the nailing and sawing. It's two stories and has a ladder and a fence in front. You would have enjoyed watching and teaching. Tobin still grieves for you.
You gave us all a good life and were a pillar of strength on which we could always lean. You taught us that family comes first. Honor and hard work were essential. You taught us to value the essentials and not worry about the fluff.
Thanks for everything. Don't worry about us. We had a great teacher and example.
Word count: 428