I found a letter I wrote to my dad in February 2009, hoping it will be read at his funeral which I was unable to attend. I was here in the USA and on my lawyer’s advice, couldn’t travel abroad. I can’t remember if it was read or not, but with Father’s Day coming up soon, I wanted to share. It sums up what he meant to me.
You of all people will understand that I am better able to express myself in English and even so, I am finding it difficult to say what is on my heart.
It has been a year since I last saw you in person. You were able to meet Ken. You hugged me, you looked into my eyes and then you looked at Ken and told us that we have your blessing for our future together and I was content. I don’t think there are many people around today who will deny that you were an excellent judge of people’s characters.
Pa, when I think of you my head and heart is filled with the endless conversations we had over the years. You encouraged me to think, you criticized me when you thought it was necessary, you discussed your theories with me, you talked about all the books you read, you shared your excitement about the wonder of scientific discoveries and experiments, you lectured me and taught me. You were my mentor. You filled my mind with riches.
When I think of you, I remember sitting by your side while you read to me all the poems you wrote about your children, about Ma, church, poverty, politics, greed, hatred, love – every topic under the sun. I told you that one day I am going to publish your poems and that I already had a title in mind. My Father – Priest and Poet. You liked it so much and told me to go ahead. I will do that.
When I think of you, I remember how much you missed Ma when she was gone. I remember how hard it was for me to see you crying. I remember how we sat together through the night and listened to all Ma’s favourite hymns.
I cannot be there at your funeral, to say a last good-bye. You said to Colleen just before you went to hospital, that you have to get your passport so that you can come visit me. You no longer need that passport… I feel your presence and your love and instead of saying good-bye, I can now say “thank you for being with me“.
I love you, always.