Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today I went with Liz to Eeyore's Birthday. We brought The Professor. I had a party the other day, and he did pretty well--considering that's the most people to ever be in my apartment at one time. He did really well in a huge park with a million people and lots of drumming. My camera died, so when I came home I dug out my charger. In the same basket was a letter from my dad. In 2004 he had major heart surgery, and it was not a guarantee that he would come out the other side. He wrote a letter to each of us.

I love my father. I am so thankful for both my folks. I know they won't be around forever, and occasionally I think of that. But I'm very much the type of person who doesn't want to die with regret. If I am hit by a bus tomorrow, everyone I love knows I love them. I was even able to patch things up with an old high school friend with whom I'd lost touch. Anyway, there is nothing left to be said. My friends and family know how much I love them. I don't feel like I really have anything I'd regret. I was calm when we dropped him off at the hospital, and it was because I had nothing left unsaid. If he came through, great. If he didn't, well, there's nothing I can do about that. I got to spend a few days with him before the surgery, and my heart is an open book. It was nice to get this letter.



You will never know Mom and I were so happy and yet so scared when you came into our lives. You were our first big "responsibility" and you did not come with any instruction manual. You helped us figure out that it was OK to eat just cottage cheese or only baby applesauce for extended periods of time. I hope you will take a daily multiple vitamin to catch up for those early years. I remember you running around our house at Porter Drive in your mobile play seat, falling asleep in the swing (be sure to get one of these when you have children - they are worth more than gold - Mom can tell you why), running between Mom and me up and down the short hall and playing in your crib waiting for us to come and get you up.

At Parkview - playing with Matt Hand and going trick or treating with me, but being too shy to say "trick or treat" the first year, so I said it for you. That was about the extent of the shyness however as everyone always told us how mature and outgoing you were from your earliest days. Watching you head off to school the first day was huge for Mom and I, how could out little girl be ready for school so quickly? Moving to Turtleback and watching you quickly adjust to new friends, school, situation - I knew then that you would be successful in life. It is wonderful to watch your child grow into a confident young woman.

Thank you for doing the sports thing as well - watching you play baseball and basketball was great and I am glad that while you were willing to put up with a "little league" parent you found your acting. Watching the progression from the early dance recitals, to school plays, to Write State, to your play at the Dayton Play House has been a source of tremendous joy for me. Your one person show at WSU really did convince me that it was important for you to pursue this as your passion. You may never make it to the cast of the next "Friends", but I hope you will continue to pursue it all your life - the rewards will be there.

I guess the only regret I might have, and at most it is a very small one, is that I feel I really was not able to help you as much as I would have liked. I eventually came to realize how funny it was that your grades in algebra improved dramatically after I stopped helping you each evening with your homework. Imagine a guy who struggled to "C's" in algebra trying to help a MENSA person. Glad I finally stopped holding you back.

The time seems to go by so quickly for parents with their children. It is truly hard to imagine how you became 26 so quickly. Why it was just yesterday we were doing Indian Princesses (youngest Wowitan Maiden ever), walking in the forest preserve, learning to ride your bike, and retrieving you from the mud puddle in the back yard. Kids provide you with the best memories and I hope you make the time to include them in your life. But, stick with your acting too, I will always be up in the balcony cheering for you at curtain call.

Please thank Debbie and Johnny for me again - I know that many women feel that abortion is an important right - but my life would have been so much less rich if two scared teenagers had made an "easy" choice to solve a "problem". There is always room at the table for one more if we all just move a bit closer together.

All my love forever and watch for me in the balcony, upper right.


I am so grateful that he was able to write this letter to me. Many of my friends have lost their fathers suddenly and were unable to say goodbye. And although he made it through the surgery and is doing well 6 years later (almost to the day), I am glad to have this letter and know what's in his heart.


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