Today I lost my father after his living for 18 months after a devastating stroke which he never fully recovered from. He would have been 69 years old on August 9th. He died without friends and there will not be a service on his behalf. 

I’ve thought about how to honor him. What to do for the man who is no longer. When I was a first starting off at college, I was given an assignment to write a paper on someone who had influenced me in some way. I wrote about my dad and the way he taught me to work hard (maybe too hard on reflection). I sent him the paper and it was one of our few bonding moments as I think the compliment touched him and he appreciated it greatly.

When he was in Germany, and after I grew up a little bit, I decided to try and reform the bond that we never really had and I decided to write him a letter every week. That practice carried on fairly consistently for a year or so.

How unexpected that the one thing I was told as a child I was not good at (writing) was the thing that I would eventually consider fun, my release and maybe the only thing that ever created a any semblance of a relationship between my father and me.

So I guess to honor him, I will write him one more time.

Dear Dad,

Today I had to say goodbye.

And paradoxically, today is the first day of the rest of my life. You always told us you wanted everyone to move on after your passing. So for once, and in one of your final requests of me, I think I’m going to listen.

Today I will be the very best man I can be while I have the chance.

Today I will not take anything into my body, mind or spirit that does not either edify or increase me in some shape way or form.

Today I will cherish every moment.

Today I will love the ones that love me first and foremost. And I will love everyone else as well, just not with the same fervency or urgency.

Today I will move on but I will remember the things you taught me through words and example (both good and bad). I will honor you the way by honoring your name, even if I don’t pass it on (still trying to sell R and J on making their husband take their name).

Today I will live with all my heart. I will lift with all my heart. I will strive with all my heart. I will love with all my heart.

And tomorrow will become today. And it will hurt a little less.

Until it doesn’t.

And then that it will be Today. And it will be glorious–

Just like today.

Goodbye Dad.