You probably received my card in the mail yesterday. It was a "funny" card. Something about golf or grilling or tools. That's not the card I wanted to send but it was the safe card for keeping peace in the family.
It's because of the strained relationship with mom that I had to send you the funny card. Because I sent her a funny card. I can't bring myself to send her something insincere. She's not my best friend or my inspiration. She hasn't supported me or been there for me. Unfortunately this means not being able to send you a card that says what is in my heart.
And so here is what I really wanted to say to you:
You are a good man. A caring friend, a loving father. You have a very tender heart and feel so deeply the joys and disappointments of others. I bounce uncontrollably around my spiritual life while you possess a faith I haven't been able to find or understand. You would drop everything to help a friend in need and even more than that to help one of your children.
I know you said spending time with Collin, your first grandson, has made you realize how many things you missed while we were growing up. But I don't remember an absent father.
I remember a father that did his best to attend school functions, proudly recorded all of my concerts, and bought me roses on Valentine's Day. I remember a father who cried as he drove me to my first formal dinner and dance because he had wanted to take me out for a fancy dinner himself before "losing" me to a boy.
I remember a father who cried as he walked me down the aisle and pre-recorded a song to surprise me for our father-daughter dance because he knew his emotions would never let him get through a live performance like you wanted.
I remember a father who doesn't laugh when I call him in a panic because the freezer is "burning" but instead calmly explains "automatic defrosting". I remember a father who tells me he prays for me every night. I remember a father who is both sad and proud that his little girl is mostly able to take care of herself and no longer calls him first for help - but leans on her husband instead.
And I remember a father who so many times has apologized for being inadequate. Not strong enough, loving enough, rich enough, patient enough. And yet you were all of those things. And you still are.
My wish for you is happiness, contentment, respect. Please don't settle for less.
Happy Father's Day.