An Open Letter to My Dad After Eight Years of His Absence

Today, I lit your candle — the one that was given to me after your funeral. It’s light blue and decorated by three angels. I don’t know if you are with angels (or became one) but I know your energy. And it’s still here. My husband cranked up the stereo for the first time in our new house today. We’ve been here three months and he’s not turned it loose like that yet. He commented he didn’t know why he felt compelled to blast it today.

I do. You wanted to say hello.

Hearing the chaos from a floor above, I retreated forty years. Instantly, I was 7. Mom was 30? Brenda was 8. We had all rolled our eyes when we heard the stereo console blaring. Fats Domino, ‘Blueberry Hill.’ You were in such a good mood! You were so smooth on your feet as you took Mom’s hands and jitterbugged.

I feel worlds different without you in my life. I am more susceptible to tears, but I know I have more wisdom. I think more spiritually. I wonder how you would have liked your grandsons. How do you like our new house? Can you see how I married someone as wonderful as you? Do you know how I think about things now?

I should have apologized for blaming you. For everything. I know now that my choices were mine. You should not have been expected to change for us. I should have thanked you more. For everything.

You and all your energy came back today as I lit your candle.

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