I sit here, 6 years after your absence, still trying to comprehend the fact that you are no longer with us. Time has no compassion as it just continues to pass me by and all that I am left with are the distant memories of the almost 27 years that I shared with you. Every single one of those days was a blessing that I will hold on to forever. There is an emptiness that still lingers in my heart and an unshakable sadness that lies deep within my soul. I do my best to create beauty in the space that you no longer occupy, but the truth is nothing can ever completely fill the void you left behind. I sometimes find it difficult to free myself of the pain that I have caged so deep within. I was never taught how to cope with the loss of a love so great, but the strength you instilled in me has helped me get through each passing day. You continue to be my rock and the constant driving force in my life.
You left behind such a powerful legacy that has inspired me in ways you could have never imagined. I wouldn't be the woman I am today if it weren't for you and I can't possibly thank you enough for that. I just hope that you're proud of the new journey I have embarked upon. I believe in my heart you've played a huge role in all of the wonderful things that have happened in my life. Whenever I have felt lost and unable to find my way, I just know that you've been right there beside me holding my hand and guiding me back to the light. I often feel your presence around me and see your face in my dreams. It's almost as if you are constantly reminding me that even though you are gone, you never really left. I have your footprints on my heart and they won't ever fade away. Your voice still echoes in my mind and sometimes I swear I can see your smile floating amongst the clouds when I look up at the sky. It fills me with a sudden sense of calmness and the reassurance that you are in fact, still here with me.
It's Father's Day and the amount that I miss you is more than usual. I woke up wanting to be able to pick up the phone and press send on the contact that still says "Dad" in my address book, but the unfair truth is that I would not recognize the new voice on the other end of the line. I wanted to drive over to your house to give you a kiss and a hug and tell you how much I love you, but you don't live there anymore. I wanted to see your facial expression as you opened up your presents because you would tell me that I got you way too much, while trying to conceal the smile forming on your face. I wish we could sit outside together at the picnic table, drinking beer and talking about life, while we waited for dinner to finish up on the grill. I wanted to be able to continue all of our little father/daughter traditions that I grew to love so much, but probably didn't appreciate as much as I should have. Instead, all I can do now is keep your spirit alive, cherish the memories, honor your name and write my feelings down in the hopes that in some crazy way, you will still be able to read this letter.
So today dad, I celebrate you. You were my first love, my hero and now you are my Angel. Thank you for giving me life and sacrificing so much of yourself for me for as long as you were able to. Words can never truly express the depth of my love and gratitude. I will continue to carry your heart. [I carry it in my heart]