Half true / Half story - real letter I wrote to my dad after he passed.
| It’s a cold and gloomy afternoon in November of 1942, today is my father’s birthday. I silently sit inside the church where his service was held just a few short months ago. I reflect on the precious moments that we shared right before his passing. He had been sick for over two years with cancer. I remember lying in his bed with him and talking about precious childhood memories and telling him how much I appreciate how hard he had labored for his family to be provided for. My dad was such a strong man; I wish I had his strength today. I felt the need to come here today to honor his memory, to talk to him and to wish him a happy birthday.
As I sit in the old stone church, I remember how he loved to come here to worship. We spent a lot of time in this beautiful place but now its beauty only brings heartache. Today is the first time I have come here since his service. I feel the tears filling my eyes. Maybe, I should not have come here. I miss him though and I feel the need to spend his special day with him. I reluctantly rise and walk to the churchyard entrance.I had never walked through the rod iron door that led to the churchyard until the day we laid him to rest. Honestly, the thought of doing so made me uncomfortable because I knew it led to the cemetery. Now, I have no choice but to go through that door. I stand looking through the door, scared to enter. This is so hard for me. I always loved calling my dad every day and now I must visit him here if I want to continue those conversations. Granted, now they are one sided conversations but I know in my heart that he hears me.
I slowly walk to his graveside and sit beside his marker. I tell him happy birthday and assure him that I miss him more and more every day. The tears start to roll down my cheeks and the heartache is so intense. It has only been a few months since he has been gone; the pain is still so fresh. I place the flowers I had bought him in the vase and tell him that they were the only thing that I got him for his birthday this year. I reach into my pocket and pull out some folded papers.
I hold the papers in my hand not sure if I can do this or not. I sit in silence for quite a while and finally I tell him that I want to read a letter that I had written to him. I want him to hear it but I hope that reading it to him will help me to gain some closure. I close my eyes and ask God to give me the strength to do this.
I softly begin to read.
Today was your funeral and I honestly think this is the hardest thing I have ever been through. I took it really hard and so did Brittany and John Thomas but Big John was there for all three of us. He was a rock for all of us. I broke down terribly after they closed your casket because at that moment I realized I would never see your handsome face or hear your loving voice ever again. Until that moment, I had been completely numb and the reality had not sunk in. I know I will have that once again, when I join you in heaven. That’s going to be very difficult to get used to – not seeing you – not calling you… but wow daddy, we made some priceless memories in the end.
I am so grateful that you took the time to allow me to explain about Big John and me. I am even more grateful that you talked with him and forgave him for things that have happened between he and I. I love him so very much but you have known this for a decade now.
I am so happy I spent so much time with you in the end. The night I stayed all night when Rita was there and we just listened to the radio together and talked means a lot to me but what is even more special to me is that last Saturday with you. Big John and I got there about ten in the morning and stayed all day and night. He and I both read to you from the Bible throughout the night. Sunday morning after John left I had an overwhelming feeling that someone had to hold your hand at all times. Is that silly, daddy? I held your hand most of the time, only letting it go if I had to go to the restroom. I made sure if I was not holding it, someone else was.
The boys came by about 12 and at 12:30 I led the four of us in a prayer asking God to let you know that we were ready for you to go to heaven so you could sing and dance – to reassure you that you did not have to suffer for us any longer. We did not deserve it – you deserved your heavenly reward.
After we prayed, I sat by your bed holding your hand. I would gently rub your arm and tell you all you needed to think about was your heavenly reward and the fact that it was okay to go home to the Lord. At 1:15 you went to be with the Lord. You left this world holding my hand, that brought me some comfort and I hope it brought you comfort as well. The nurse confirmed that you were gone at 1:20 and I thanked God for bringing you home to Him. I was so happy that you were no longer suffering.
Our last conversation was on Aug 25; I softly leaned over and whispered into your ear that you would always be my heart. You very quietly said, “I know and I love you.” After that you closed your eyes and never awoke again.
You left me in good hands, Daddy. You entrusted me to the only other man besides you that I have ever felt security with. This does not make losing you any easier but I need you to know that I will be okay. I am so glad you are no longer suffering but I do love and miss you so much!