Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Dad...

For as far back as I can remember, your presence in my life has been a constant. This is how I remember things...

December of 77 -- I was a birthday present to you and you love me more than life itself
You work 2 jobs to support me, my brother and mom

I turn 18 months old your heart is broken a second time: Mom leaves a note saying she has left for good

Instead of just 2 jobs, you now work 3 jobs to support Matt and me and pay off mom's debts

Not long after, you meet Shary, who has also been left behind with 3 kids and she takes care of us while you work

I am 3 years old now... you fall in love and marry Shary... now we are a family of 7 with 5 kids - 7 years of age and under

Shortly after, your trust is further broken and you decide it's time to move from Pennsylvania to Florida

Your family is there, so that is one of the best parts about moving

We live in a 2 bedroom apartment... all 5 kids in one bedroom -- Good thing we are little

You work long hours, but you love us and so, as always, you do what it takes to provide for us

I'm 4 now and we move into our first house in Royal Palm Beach and even though you are the one to let me watch "Carrie", you comfort me when I have nightmares {yes, I'm laughing :-}

I love going to the park right up the road with you and playing softball... thanks for always being so patient

I meet my mother for one of the first times that I remember and I feel confused... You take me to Burger King and try to explain some things... I don't understand, but I trust you

Two years pass and we grow out of our house and you and mom have a larger house built in West Palm Beach, business is good.

I tell you a secret and my visits to my mom stop for a while... Your

It seems I am an emotional child have a lot of feelings to express... you play Carpenter songs like "Rainy Days on Mondays" to cheer me up...

You take me to work with you and even though I am more scattered than a help, you always tell me "You are my best helper" {we all know Eva was, for real ;-}

We go for Dairy Queen as a special treat... Vanilla cone dipped in chocolate is your favorite and therefore my favorite

Weekends are filled with BBQ's on the beach

Land Before Time comes out and you take me to see it... It's my favorite movie and you quote lines like "Now you listen to old Rooter" when you want to cheer me up

You teach me about God and that He loves me -- I trust you

Sixth grade was fast approaching and you announce that we are moving away to a small town in North Florida - 500 people to be exact

Times are hard with the recession that hit - You have to travel back and forth to Orlando to support us

You take me with you one week and I try and convince you to let me go live with my mom... you tell me no, that's it's not the right time

Five years pass and I grow more and more angry that you're in Orlando working and more curious about who my mother is... You see this and when you find out I was going to leave without your permission to go live with her, you tell me "If you wait until Christmas, I'll buy your ticket"

I left you on my 17th birthday - I break your heart

10 years go by - I call on occasion - I visit Thanksgivings - I think you're wrong about my mom and I'm mean and angry - You continue to pray for me - love me - support me and give me words of wisdom - I ignore them because I think I know better and continue to break your heart -

Still, you come and see me graduate High School... Graduate college - Always supportive - Always loving - ever kind - never angry -

I'm almost 27 now and my life completely falls apart - I realize the reality of the life I'd been living and I call you for support - My heart is broken - My life is broken - You tell me that you love me and that you are there for me because you'd been there before, too - You understand -

I fall into a deep depression and 6 months later I'm on your doorstep needing to find myself again - You welcome me with open arms and pay for me to go to China with you and mom to see Sarah... you hope it helps heal my heart - It works -

I stay with you for 4 months and just as is typical of me, I'm off on another adventure... You tell me I should stay another year and get my finances straight - I again ignore you, thinking I know better

{MAN! You'd think I would have learned by now...
at least I wasn't going off to do something destructive again :-}

I start my Master's that Fall - you and mom and Eva come and visit my new apartment - I'm overwhelmed by your presence and love for me - My heart continues to heal -

I have several nightmares over the next year and call you a lot - You continue to comfort me, give me your wise words and tell me that you too, still have dreams sometimes... but time will heal all wounds - I trust you -

I start counseling and realize I haven't forgiven myself for leaving you - I call and apologize for being selfish and not understanding what you were sacrificing for our family working in Orlando - You tell me that there's nothing to apologize for, that you understood it was time for me to know my mother -

It's the following summer now and I call to tell you that I've met a man that I love and I want to bring him for Thanksgiving... You are happy for me and tell me to bring him -

He's just like you but talks more - He's a hard worker, stable, trustworthy, honest, sincere in his intentions, loves motorcycles and loves me - You like him and that seals the deal for me -

I'm engaged and you're happy for me -- still trying to help me get my finances straight, I'm still not listening, although at least now I'm trying - You still support me and love me -

My wedding day - You are there at my side - You tell me that I've never looked more beautiful and that you are proud of me - I tell you that even though I'm getting married, I'll still need you - It was a bittersweet day for me -

3 months into my marriage, I'm depressed - Of course I call you - You help me understand how a man thinks and some of the things D might be going through, too - You two are so much alike and I thank God for him and thank you for understanding, as always - My marriage starts to really blossom -

D and I build a house and you take your week vacation to come and install tile in our two baths and kitchen/laundry room - You work so hard to make it perfect for me - I love having you here and dread the day you leave - Your van gets snow on it for the first time in 25 years... you have me take a picture - I just love you -

We have a better relationship now than we ever have - I can talk to you about anything - I still go to Dairy Queen every couple months and get a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate and pretend we're eating it together - I miss you -

You come to see me graduate - You come to see me in my first theater performance - You call just to say "I love you" and you are always happy to hear my voice -

Dad... you are my hero, my role model, a picture of who I hope to be - You are my daddy and father and there is no one I love more than you...

Happy Father's Day

p.s. -- For my readers
I wrote this post a while ago about my dad
if you want a little background :)


d.a.r. said...

Wow, how touching!!!!

Krystyn said...

Awwww....your dad sounds like the most amazing dad ever. You are very lucky.

Bambi said...

OMG I can hardly see through the tears. What a wonderful post- wonderful father and even more wonderful and beautiful daughter. I never get on here on weekends but somehow decided reading posts would be better than Twilight (chapter 7- i'm really trying to stay focused) but I saw your post, and i'm just sad and happy at the same time. Hugs! Happy fathers day to your dad!

Marissa said...

AW! This was so touching to read. Thank you for sharing!!

Nana Shary said...

You got it right, Anna, and your Dad is very proud of you and the decisions you are making am I. We love you LOTS.

Rachel said...

This has left me a little teary eyed. It sounds like you have an amazing dad, who loves unconditionally. He sounds like the picture of what a father should be!

Cole said...

You are lucky to have such an amazing father! :-)

Courtney and the Boys said...

Um...that really wasn't very didn't tell me to have a box of Kleenex on hand first. :)

Here I sit, reading your words, and feeling so many of the same things that I felt towards my own father. Except my father passed away 10 1/2 years ago. I never got to say I was sorry for breaking his heart. I know how much he loved me and how much he sacrificed for me. And I know I'm forgiven. But it's still a hard day for me. I'm so glad you have a wonderful relationship with your dad...I'm sure I would today, too, with my own dad if he were still here. It's amazing how much I thought I knew when I was younger. :)

This was a great post, Anna. :)

MissBliss said...

The tears started. Then falling, then I was crying on my husband's chest.

This is GOOD crying, I told him.

There are good men out there, like her dad, and you. Men with integrity who take care of their families and are truly there even through it all....

Wow, totally crying in my living room before I could finish reading!!!

He took care of her, and treated his kid like a human being, I told my hubby when he asked...what an amazing combination...

What amazing perspective and love you both have!!!!!

Life does go on and you are such a joy here!!!!

The fact that he is such a great dad and that you are a great daughter, and you can both really appreciate each other is just fabulous! Maybe your dad should give dad lessons!!!!

MissBliss said...

by the way, very symbolic that your dad lays tile: he is also good at foundations in life!!!! the personality of patience it takes for both.... and what is to come... ;)

Jon and Steph said...

I'm sitting here in tears. What a great tribute to your father. He sounds like an amazing man!

Erin said...

:) Thats all!

Saskia said...

Anna, I'm all teary eyed now!! That is a most-beautiful post. What an incredible man. What a special relationship. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us all.


Ms. Salti said...

Ok, if you ever make me cry (not just tears in my eyes, but full-on crying) I'm not reading anymore! (Not really, but I thought I'd try the threats!) I love that post. It's truly amazing.

Miss E said...

I will echo what the others have said: oh, the tears are flowing. You should add a warning to have Kleenex ready! :)

What an amazing story of unconditional love. Your words are so touching. (And I loved seeing the pics of little Anna!) How blessed you both are to have each other! Did your dad read this?

Thank you so much for sharing your story. And what a happy {ending}. xoxo

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

brought tears to my eyes. what an incredible post! i'm so happy for you that you guys have the relationship you do! what an amazing thing=)

Brown Girl said...

That was so incredibly sweet and touching, it gave me goose bumps. He sounds like a wonderful man, you both are lucky to have each other!

Quixsa said...

Like everyone else this post nearly made me start sobbing. Thank you for writing this. You have no idea how much it meant to read something so loving.

Wifey said...

Tissue please. *sigh* Lovely post.

Winks & Smiles,

Whitney said...

Just found your blog and I will have you know I am BAWLING MY EYES OUT. At my desk AT WORK.
Thanks for that! Ha!
Can't wait to read more!

Miss Caught Up said...

What a great post about your Dad :) And what a wonderful gift for him..

Megan said...

Jeez, make me cry will ya!! You have an amazing dad. I hope he reads this!

Anonymous said...

Amazing blog, I am in tears. That was very touching and very beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

I have a question though...what's the "secret" you tell your dad that makes your visits to your mom stop for a while?

Cocaine Princess said...

Honestly my dear one, after reading this post my heart aches, breaks and weeps.

The picture of you dancing with your daddy, tremendously awesome as was this post.

Sweet latin hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. i thought every bride was attractive. until now.

Katy said...

Wow. Anonymous is a little bitchy.

You made a beautiful bride, my friend. Because you are a beautiful woman. Don't let it get you down.

Amber said...

Beautiful isn't the right word. more like STUNNING!!