It’s been a while. So much has happened and I’m not too sure where to start. I became a writer – did I tell you that? Yeah, I know, you already knew that this was what I was supposed to do, but it just took a while for me to find it.
The family is well – your lads are taller than you now, for sure. And so smart and lively and lovely. Their hugs are still the bomb, even if I only get them at home now. They still won’t let me dance in public. Not sure why 🙂 I remember watching you and mum dance in the lounge room to Burt Bacharach and Neil Diamond records. My memory tells me it was sweet but I suppose my teenage self was mortified, at least out of duty if not anything else!
Lately, I’ve had a hankering for your stew. Not sure why. Maybe because it was so hearty. Oh, and those milkshakes you make? Hm, come to think of it, I might make one today. I can still see you and me standing in the kitchen and you whispering the secret ingredient into my ears. Raw eggs. Ha. I now had the power. They’ll never know truth…oops.
Hey, you remember how we had that year long angriness? I’ve been thinking about that lately. A friend is having some trouble with their family and it brought it back to mind. I’m pretty sure we squared that away but just in case, my bad. I shouldn’t have let things go that long, hurt or no hurt. Sorry Dad.
Did you know that Donald Trump is running for President? President??? It’s surreal. I’m sure you would agree, even though our political opinions still differ. Turnbull seems to be doing okay, don’t you think?
Life get’s complicated Dad, doesn’t it? Just when I thought I was getting a handle on things, I have a year where I can account for some kind of challenge for every month. It’s been like a snowball. There’s been some good stuff too, of course, but I never thought to ask you before how you manage the shitty stuff. I wish I had.
I wish we had written more letters to each other too. Then today I could sit in my room and read over them. But I can’t. I do have memories though and I carry them everywhere.
The day you took me to kindergarten and I wore the corduroy orange and brown printed shift dress.
The day you pretended to be Santa Clause but I knew it was you.
The day you taught me to ride my bike. Your hands on the back of the seat and then your hands not on the back of the seat and me peddling like a pro across the grass trying to avoid the prickly trees.
The day you made me a doll from newspaper when we holidayed on the South Coast and I thought you must be the coolest dad ever. A doll from newspaper!
The day you took me to my year 10 formal in the Toyota Lightace. You thought I was beautiful in my Scarlet O’Hara inspired gown. It didn’t matter to you that I chose vintage when everyone else was trying to be cool.
The roses you gave me in front of hundreds of parents for my acting skills even though I wasn’t the main character.
The day we went shopping for knee pillows to kneel on in the chapel – it was a Wednesday. It was the best day.
The day when you held me up from falling as we walked down the aisle crying – we made everyone cry.
The day you held my firstborn. The day you held my second born. The day you visited preschool on grandparents day and sat in those tiny chairs.
The day you held me and told me you were sorry and I told you I was sorry.
The day you, me and mum walked, barefoot across Manly Beach, arm in arm like a slow three-legged race. The heat of the sun drenched sand on our toes. Your smile.
The day you died. So quiet. So peaceful. So gone to be with your Maker.
I miss you Dad. I can’t express how bad. But I know you had to go. You told me in a dream. Before you went. You told me. You were so happy. I don’t begrudge you that.
But I miss you all the same.
Anyway, give my love to the Maker, won’t you? The family say hi. We hope you’re doing fine and making stew and secret-ingredient milkshakes and stealing everyone’s lamb chops off their plates.