I’m Going to Miss You

Dear Dad,

I’m sure going to miss you when you’re gone. I want you to know this now – because at your funeral, it will be too late to say it.  I want you to know how important you are to me, how much I respect you, and how much I appreciate you.  No one could ever take your place in my life.  I am blessed to have you as my Dad.

From my earliest memories, I know that I’ve always worshiped the ground you walked on. You were always the man I wanted to be when I grew up.  Through thick and thin, I’ve always known you were there. I could call you when my car broke down, and you’d drive across the state to get me – or anyone else for that matter.  If I had a problem, you usually had a solution.  You are kind, giving, and a lot of fun to be around.  You are the best Dad a kid could ever have.

Lately, I’ve had several men, around your age, in the back of the ambulance with me.  Each of them was facing his own health crisis.  It makes me think of our mortality, and the certainty of death.  Whether you live another 30 years, or face death sooner, I want you to know that you are loved.  You, Dad, will be missed.

The best part of that story is the look in your eyes when you tell it.

You tell a story of when I was just two or three years old, playing in the back yard with a friend. Like usual, when you came home from work, you found me and let me know you were home.  Apparently, according to your words, I dropped my toys, turned to my friend and said, “I gotta go, my Dad’s home!”  And with that I ran into your arms.

The best part of that story is the look in your eyes when you tell it.  I swear, sometimes I think the buttons are popping off your shirt – and I never tire of hearing you tell it.  I feel your pride when my Smiling Son replicates my actions.

Also from an early age, you let me work with you. Whether riding on a piece of heavy equipment, using hand tools, or working on the car – I learned so much from being around you and with you.  They say that common sense isn’t very common, but for me it’s normal – you shared yours with me and I treasure the learning and much as the knowledge.

No one could have a better Dad than I have – no one.

Sometimes you were a show-off, and often you were a smart-alec – but there is no doubt in my mind that you’re one of the smartest, toughest, and greatest men I’ve ever known.

You took us camping, coached our teams, and showed us how to handle success, and failure.  For a man born in a log cabin, with no running water or electricity, you have done very well for yourself.  I’m proud of you – and proud to call you my Dad.  You taught me wisdom, responsibility, and how to work hard.  You always gave more than you received, and in an ironic sort of way, you have always been humble in your greatness.

No one could have a better Dad than I have – no one.

I love you Dad.  I’m going to miss you.

Your Kid!  G

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Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gary Walter, Gary Walter. Gary Walter said: New Post: I’m Going to Miss You http://bit.ly/8Xegq2 #daddytude […]

  2. gwalter says:

    I’m sorry you lost your dad Therese – i lost my Mom 4yrs ago too.

    What a great attitude you have about him – i hope my kids feel the same way in 40+ years!

    My Dad said he almost cried when he read it. 🙂

    Also said he could probably still ride a bike backwards… LOL!

  3. ray bankes says:

    wish i was able to write something like that, not sure what i would say actualy. great tribute Gary!

    1. gwalter says:

      I understand.

      It’s been a journey to shift my attitude. I couldn’t have written it a few years ago. But the Serenity Prayer has helped.

  4. Jenn says:

    A superb letter! An excellent way to communicate to your dad, one that you will never regret.

    1. gwalter says:

      Thanks gorgeous! It somehow feels unfinished though – almost like I need to write his whole biography. He has done so many amazing things, and often misunderstood, often forgotten – People shouldn’t discount those whom they don’t understand.

  5. Lisa Hilliard (@billyandstump) says:

    My Dad will be 60 in a few weeks, and we haven’t spoken in ages. We’ve been at odds and in an awkward situation for a while. He called me two days ago, and left a message saying he missed me. I ignored it. I’m so sorry for your loss, but thank you for reminding me how important our fathers are. I will return his call tomorrow.

    1. gwalter says:

      I hope the return call to your Dad was a good one. I had a period of disconnect with my Mom for awhile. But reconnecting is always good. Please let me know how the call went!

  6. Pastor Sherry says:

    Wow, Gary — this was wonderful! I grew up with my grandparents, but my mother was still around, so it was like having 3 parents. My grandmother died in 1996, my grandfather on Christmas Day, 2006. Nana’s was totally unexpected, and we never had the chance to talk, even if I’d been able to back then. I have so often wished I could have one more hour with her. Grandfather’s death was expected, and I had gone back home for Thanksgiving. When I left, we knew we’d never see each other again, and he said, “I may not be here next time you come home.” I replied, “I hope you are, Grandfather, but if not, I’ll see you in the Morning.” That parting was much better. My mother is still alive; we just shared a great week together, not possible in earlier years. What a blessing to be able to tell someone you love them while they are still alive. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. gwalter says:

      What an awesome story. Thanks for sharing it Sherry.

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