It’s Father’s Day again, this one will mark the eighth I’ve experienced without you, and I wish you were here to see the woman I’ve become.
The 18-year-old girl I was then has matured into a wife, a mother, an adult…yet my longing for you as never gone away.
There are days I forget you aren’t here, days I want to call you.
Most recently it was on the day Derek Jeter took the field for the last time. His career as a Yankee and in baseball was coming to end. I could still remember the first time I saw him play. I was six, sitting on your lap when he took the field, and even then you knew he would be great.
When he left the field for the last time I found myself crying, the last player still on the Yankees from when you were alive was now gone.
I felt broken, and shattered. I couldn’t call you, so I called mom instead. She’s good about that, listens to me, comforts me, and yeah—she misses you too.
I never said this when you were alive, I was too young—and honestly, I thought you were invincible—the man who could unscrew a nail with just his fingers, or fix anything on my car.
I thought I’d have forever to say these words, but forever ended way too fast.
I want to say thank you.
Thank you for helping to shape me into the woman I am today, because I turned out pretty awesome.
Thank you for teaching me there was nothing I couldn’t do. You taught me how to throw a baseball, swing for the fences, and steal bases like a pro, and you were right there when I got my first home run.
For my first car, I can still remember the smile on your face, the ribbon you put on it, you were more excited than I was.
The adventures you took me on, they are a part of me every day.
I learned to love adventure from our trips, horseback riding through the Sahara, a boat trip down the Nile, and climbing the Pyramids.
My love of history came from you. When my classmates learned about Rome, I was experiencing it, touching the walls of the Colosseum, walking where gladiators once fought.
I was able to see for myself Anne Frank’s hiding place, the horrors of Auschwitz, and the Normandy Beaches where so many of our brave soldiers gave their lives.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized my childhood was a bit unique, that not every child that loved The Sound of Music got to travel to Austria and see the actual Von Trapp family home. That not every child was allowed to own every pet imaginable from a horse, to a pig, to goats and beyond.
I was blessed. Blessed to be your daughter.
I’m so proud of you. Proud of all you accomplished and the legacy you left behind.
Although physically you aren’t here any longer, you live on in all of us.
I inherited your love of the Yankees and your gypsy blood runs through my veins. My sister has your tenacity, your fire (and to all our dislike) your driving skills. My brother he has your passion for cars, I see you in him so much these days.
You impacted, and shaped all of us. You taught me to always follow my dreams, to live a little on the wild side, and to measure my life in the moments that take our breath away.
On this Father’s Day I hope you know how loved you are, and how much I miss you.
Editor: Renee Jahnke
Image: Courtesy of Author