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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A letter on Father's Day

Dear Dad,

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.

24 comments:

C. Beth said...

Wow, Cate, this is so beautiful.

I hope some day the situation will change so you're able to tell him all this. Until then, I bet your love comes through in other ways.

Really love this post.

Beth said...

This is incredibly touching. There is such a unique bond between daughters and dad and it really shines through in your post.

Hit 40 said...

I am also having some sticky issues with my mom. My dad would like to see us more...

but mom as it is in most homes - rules what happens.

I might post about it. You would be upset with the woman, but it is a long story.

Lindy said...

What a lovely touching post for Father's Day. Thanks for those inspiring words and I hope he gets to read them. Am heading east to go to church with my dad today. Hope you have a wonderful day.

SparkleFarkle said...

I wish I could drop a trail of bread crumbs leading to this blog entry that your poppy could follow, so he could know exactly how happily ever after he has made the part of your life he has touched. P.S. Although I've never had a dad in my life (long, tedious and unnnecessary story), I'm positive we were "blessed" with the same mom. Whoa, Jesus, what's up with that?! LOL! ***raises morning coffee cup*** Here's to the good guys and the moms that should have been! Speaking of the good guys, Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls is comfortingly blasting (livingroom TV) in my background: Top Paw!

a corgi said...

(((Cate))) your father sounds like a wonderful man and a devoted dad. I hope one day your relationship with your mom will be healed so that you can tell this directly to your dad or write him a letter you can send. perhaps that is something he prays for every night, who knows???

my best to you today

betty

Melissa B. said...

Thanks for the poignant post. Your Dad will love you for it, I'm sure.

SparkleFarkle said...

Just reread your blog post as I wanted it to move me again. And it did. Thank you. Thank you so much.

(By the by, might I re-direct you back to my SIX WORD SATURDAY entry? I left a still for you in the comment box, from the Asian movie Ringu. Go ahead, I promise you a good looksee!)

http://dkzody.wordpress.com said...

Your dad sounds like a good man and you sound like a girl who appreciates him. If you just let him know how much you appreciate him (those words), it will be enough for him.

Meg said...

Your father sounds like a lovely soul. I do hope that you find a minute some time today to tell him those things you couldn't send in a card. I truly hope that for you.
I'm really new to your blog. You have a great command of words. You do a great job here. I wonder if you could secretly show your dad? I know he'd enjoy this.

Yaya said...

This is beautiful Cate. Yes, I too have a strained relationship with my parents, but my Dad is one of the most caring people I've ever known.

Fragrant Liar said...

Very nicely done. Relationships are sometimes so complicated, aren't they? And yet the one you have with your dad is not. Happy Pa's Day to your daddy.

Great-Granny Grandma said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father. I hope he reads your blog. How blessed you are to have such an awesome dad.

Lyndsay said...

Okay, first, ignore my last "where are you Cate" comment ... your newest post in my blog roll was 3-days old. At least you know I'd be looking for you if you really did goa MIA for 3-days.

Otherwise, I just have to say how much I love this post. And I'm sad about the Mother's Day card. Thought I was the only one who intentionally avoided the mushy ones and leaned towards the generic ones. I'll stop there ...

2cats said...

Cate,
Please,oh please tell your dad how you feel.
I am sorry to say this, but if what stops you from that is your mother...well to hell with her.
Sorry.
He needs, wants to hear those words from you.
Can you mail them to his office? To a dear trusted friend of his?
Anything but really he needs and deserves to be told.

Veggie Mom said...

What a tribute! Thanks so much for this. You've made our Father's Day complete...

Mocha Dad said...

What a great tribute. Your father sounds like a wonderful man. I hope my children will find me equally as wonderful.

andy said...

okay, i'm totally going to be gooey...and lemming with everyone else.

this was a pretty sweet post.

your dad is lucky to have you. and i'm thinking he feels the same way about you. sometimes words need not be said out loud in order to be heard.

andy

p.s. sorry i missed you yesterday...i'm still sulking over my texting thumb and the slow recovery.

Tori_z said...

Beautiful lettter.

Hope your Dad had a happy fathers' day.

Call Me Cate said...

Thanks all for the comments. My dad's a good guy. It frustrates me that my mother is too jealous to let me really have the relationship with him that we both want.

blognut said...

Loved this - it's beautiful and I hope you can someday share it with him.

Accidentally Me said...

Oh, I like this a lot:-)

I may have missed some back story...how come you can't share this with him? Seems to me that he would love to read it. Even if it makes him cry:-)

Lisa said...

Just beautiful...made me cry.

I hope you will share this with him and I hope your mom will find her peace.

Lora said...

wow. I should do this, but I don't think I'm ready.

This was amazing. I read it a few times.