I’ve been feeling lost lately, so I figured that I would take the time to write you a letter.
We never really got the opportunity to speak, just the two of us, so it’s probably well-overdue that I take the time to talk to you.
November 20th, 2021 is now quickly approaching; you would be 61 years old. Sixty-one!
Mom’s heading toward her 60th this August, and I am 23 years old. Twenty-three!
Your princess made it this far, dad. If Mike were here, he would be 33 years old…a dream in my mind.
I miss you all every day—you, Mike, Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Puppa, Uncle Wayne, Keith, and Aunty Marilyn. I think about you all in a kind of counterclockwise rotation; it’s like unintentionally everything I do and everywhere I go I am constantly reminded of the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to know.
A little part of me hopes that, in some strange way, this is all of you quietly reaching out to me, trying to show me signs that I will be okay while I’m here on Earth and you all are, well, somewhere else.
Life is mean, unfair, and quite honestly, cruel at times. I have certainly bared my fair share of disappointment in losing so many people I love…I have always grinned and borne it. Always.
But then, I remind myself that my resilience isn’t just from sheer strength or fortitude; it’s also because I was just a child.
If you asked me to describe what it feels like to have lost you, dad, I would say to you: imagine that I am a puzzle with a large piece missing; I never had this piece to begin with, and my puzzle will never be complete. Not only that, but I also have all the other pieces completely disorganized, and without your large piece, I can’t reorganize the others…because I am a child and I do not know better yet.
That sums it up entirely, the pit in my stomach, the emptiness when I see happy fathers and brothers and know the men who meant so much to me are now a product of what is my past. In order to truly move forward, I must leave you there, move forward, and only take some time to look back and reminisce.
That’s a hard part for me to come to terms with, and I still live in my denial to this day because I’ve yet to accept that I have to let you go.
The confusion, the betrayal…how could you have let yourself be put in a position to leave me when you were supposed to be the person who protected me?
The strong men in my life…gone.
It’s truly something I will wake up and choke down day after day, but it’s not all bad.
There are some days I wake up and jump from my bed with enthusiasm, and it’s like I feel myself being pushed to do what’s best for me because I know if you could speak to me and if you are seeing me, you would be telling me that I need to keep going.
And so I do.
The little bit of hope I have in you being with me, somehow someway, is just about the only reason I can keep on going and not give up. You may be gone, but I haven’t let you go yet. I know I should and some day soon I will. It’s just that I am still growing up, and I need you.
There are so many memories I wanted to share with you and so many to come that I wish you could be here for, special people I’ve met in my life I so wish you could have met. You would be so proud of the type of love I have and share. I know it.
And so, I’ve decided I will take my time with learning how to live without you here.
Because letting go and being strong isn’t a one-time decision. It’s something you have to choose to do every day, over and over again, and I’m learning.
I’m learning to let go. But just not yet. Soon, I’ll be ready.
Soon, I’ll grow up.