My father passed away last week from a sudden heart attack while he was overseas. I didn’t get a last goodbye; we hadn’t talked for the last five years. This article marks all the things I wish I had heard him hear me say. My brother who was in contact with him shared this in his eulogy, for my father had requested this be said at his funeral. “Tonight, before you go to bed to sleep tonight, promise to say ‘I love you’ to your father. So they won’t have to feel as unloved as I did.”
1. Thank you for bringing me up. I may not have appreciated your disciplinary methods but it has taught me to behave appropriately in social settings while growing up.
2. I underestimated the cost of my upkeep. From diapers to education costs, to frills and mini tempers of wanting something. You came out more money for me to grow up in the best possible way in my childhood than I had assumed.
3. When I was eight, I saved money and bought the cutest dwarf hamster home, but I thought you’d disapprove so I hid it under my study table in my room with a cloth over. The next day when I got back home I found a 3 story hamster cage with two hamsters inside. You smiled and told me never to lie to you again. It is still one of my fondest memories of a father who had a cold exterior, but a warm heart when provoked.
4. As a child, you bought me many things not many children my age had. I had a kick scooter, a disc man, the very first iPod that came out and so on. You always grumbled because they were high ticket electronic goods, but you bought them anyway. Through that, you taught me that money was difficult to earn and hard to keep, but money never overtook the priority in being happy.
5. You made up 50% of my genetic material In that, comes the stubbornness and pride that can never change despite the circumstances.
6. I never understood the temptations and difficulties a married man had or how hard it was with responsibilities.
7. I took your burnouts as excuses, and I refused to acknowledge that you couldn’t deal with the problem because you were going through a difficult time yourself.
8. I took your indifference as ignorance, and your inability to apologize a strong innate of a man with chauvinistic pride.
9. I’m sorry I wasn’t the bigger person to say sorry first.
10. I know you were bitter and regretful for the way things ended with me.
11. I forgot how you happy we once until I found old photographs of me in your lap smiling. I was eleven then.
12. I’m sorry I ignored all your birthday messages year after year. It got easier through the years and I assumed there’d be more time for you to fix our relationship and make it up to me and the family.
13. I found that card in your wallet the night we were returned your belongings from the hospital. Tucked away in a corner was the card I had written for your 60th birthday, 7 years ago. Thank you for thinking of me when things got difficult, and remembering me.
14. I am angry you left so soon. I don’t know who I’m angry at but I’m angry. I’m 22. No one’s parents are supposed to die when they’re 22. 30 maybe. 35, definitely? But 22? No. I’m not equipped to handle this at all.
15. I know you worried about me as a teenager but I’ll promise you that I’ll study hard. I know all the canning’s for bad results as a child was meant to teach me the importance of education.
16. No one has the right to tell me how I feel about you leaving so suddenly. (If you were here I’d know you’d tell me to stuff it up their asses.)
17. When I argued with you, I was angry.
18. But being angry doesn’t mean I never stopped loving you as my father.
19. I forgive you for everything you have done.
20. I’m sorry I waited till it was too late to say this. I love you Dad.