We sure have come a long way. There were years where I didn’t want to speak to you, nevertheless hang out. You know what happened, I know what happened, and we have left it in the past. Those years are clearly over now and I am so happy that you have found Karen. She brings out the very best in you.
One of the best pieces of advice you ever gave to me were right after I started undergrad and was feeling incredibly homesick. I don’t remember where you took me, exactly, just that it felt like you brought a piece of home with you and that you were the only one in the whole city who knew me. We sat outside and drank coffee, I think, and I’m pretty sure I ate something. That part I don’t remember.
What I do remember is you encouraging me to stay the course. To see college through, to not come back to the small town without something to show for it. With that conversation, you, unknowingly, sealed the deal that I was going to graduate from that little school in that big city, with plenty of knowledge, and a lot of hope.
You would come up to visit me often, and sometime you would give me money, more than I really needed or ought to have. I don’t fault you for that, and nothing terrible resulted, except for maybe too much pizza and a clothing shopping spree. And slurpees from 7/11. I sure do miss those slurpees.
You always came to visit when it was crunch time. Taking me to a fancy breakfast the morning I was studying for a big exam. Taking me to dinner right before finals, with me accidentally ordering coffee that had alcohol in it. Do you remember that?
When I moved to the yellow house on 16th, and couldn’t get out of bed and ready in the morning for work, you were at my doorstep for weeks on end at 6:30 a.m., just to have breakfast with me and get me waked up. I didn’t realize at the time what a selfless thing that was, Dad, and I’m sorry I didn’t say thank you more. You saved my job during that time period, and you saved my sanity, my pride.
For all the times you helped me cut my grass, cut my grass for me, helped me clean house, vacuum, put up Christmas decorations, and brought me food, I thank you. I know I thanked you then, but I really want you to hear me say it now, Dad. Thank you.
We are light-years from whence we came. I feel like we’re friends now, like you would do anything you could to help me. Driving me to therapy, watching our favorite basketball team, helping me get to the Rez to buy cigarettes, buying me a Sonic drink, talking about the books we’re reading. You’re there and you’re present and you are a true joy to be around.
We talk a few times a week and see each other usually once a week, and I always look forward to our little excursions. I hope nothing ever has to change that, or we drift apart again. We have been apart before, but that doesn’t have to happen again. I treasure our time together and hope you do, too.
I love you, Dad. More than you will ever, ever know. xoxoxoxo