A Letter To My Father

Dear Dad,

It’s weird writing a letter dedicated to you because I never really understood the weight of your presence until you left. You were always there. My rock, my hero, my everything. You were my constant and I never really had to think about you because you were only a drive away.

Today you are moving far away and I now have to go back and reflect on all the memories we shared and the weighty meaning you had in my life because I’m finally forced by fate to grow up and be a woman.

As the moving truck was driving away I wanted to run after you and cry, “No, dad, please don’t leave me!” the way I did as a little girl when you left on business trips. As my daughter came over to hug me, I remembered I’m no longer that little girl, and holding back my tears was harder than I imagined.

It’s painful for me to write this because I don’t know where to begin. I think the pain comes from the fact that you were always an unsung hero. You did the most for us, yet we spoke of it the least. I don’t think I ever really told you how much I loved you or how thankful I was, when without you- I wouldn’t know how to be a woman, let alone a human being.

I love and miss you dearly. I wish I had more chances to tell you this and I did, but failed to do so. Guilt creeps up on me but I choose not to yield because you would not want me to live in guilt.  As the oldest child I was never the sweet and affectionate daughter to you.  I wish I can change but don’t know how, although today I vow to be sweeter and kinder to you before it’s too late.

I may not say this often but I live my life for you dad, for all that you are, and for all that you’ve done for us.

I realize I chose to get married and chose another man aside from you, to live with and for. I realize this is my choice. But behind my freedom lies your love, sacrifice and heartfelt prayers and I’m just starting to see this now, as you are leaving.

I’m sorry I was always too busy dealing with mom, friends and boys to even think about you. I thought you would always be there. You were my constant, and I never imagined my life without you.  When it comes to you, very few words are needed.

You are my rock, my life, my everything and I thank you for teaching me how to love another man.  Yet no man can ever replace you because to me, you are dad– and I wish I left the same lasting impression on your life in the same way you did for me.

Tonight, I was washing my daughter’s dirty feet and remembered the time you washed my feet. I must’ve been 7 or 8. I’m not quite sure. I fell into shit (literally) and was crying out for somebody to come and rescue me. I was so scared and felt so alone.

It didn’t take long for you to come and get me; you cleaned my feet in silence, and made me feel clean and secure again. You were there for me, and that is all that mattered.

I’m sorry that it took so long- over 20 years- to remember this. I’m sorry dad and thank you, for running to me and taking care of me when I needed someone the most.

I love you appa– more than words can tell, more than meaning can capture.

And thank you for everything you’ve done for me until now. Thank you for letting me ride on your shoulders when I was a kid, thank you for not giving up on me during high school and trusting me in college despite my cry for independence. Thank you for making that long drive home after work for so many years to support our family. I never realized how grueling that drive must’ve been because you never spoke of it. I now understand and hope it’s not too late.

Thank you for continuing to show your love for me by loving my husband and children. Thank you for never letting an ice cream truck go by without reaching for your wallet and for being the best grandpa to my two daughters.

I promise to be there for you, in this life and beyond. You are my hero, and this song is for you.

I love you dad; I love you unconditionally.

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