Posted in Death of father

Lost words

The text came from nowhere, jarring me from present to past in an instant.

Words, from Maine to California.

From my brother…

Cleaning out mom’s attic. Were u ever looking for your dad’s old Vietnam diary?

No… I wasn’t looking for it.

Because I didn’t even know it existed.

I’ve spent my life wishing for something… anything… that could help me to know him in some way and in an instant, that became possible.

K. found some stuff. i’ll set it aside n ship it 2 u.

How did I not know it even existed? Did I ever ask my mom? Did she forget she had it? Is there something between those covers that she didn’t think I was ready to read?

Everything I know about my dad has been told to me by someone else… filtered through their own experiences and love for him.

Distilled.

Though I’ve longed to know what my dad thought of me… of being a parent… of how he viewed his world, I’m preparing myself for much less.

Yet, somehow, maybe more.

Maybe it will be filled with what he ate, music he loved, places he visited.

Maybe I’ll find clues to who he was. Hints at the way he and I are alike… the parts of who I am that are hardwired… handed to me at birth, before he could teach and influence me.

I’ve longed to find some tangible thread to connect us.

Waiting for my brother to mail to me the very thing that I’ve grieved the non-existence of is truly excruciating.

I didn’t ask him what it says. I won’t because I can’t.

Hearing his words over the phone would cheapen them, somehow.

Even if they simply read, “It was hot today. Had a ham sandwich for lunch.”

Somehow, even the simplicity of that will be enough.

But, now I wait.

A letter to my father on Father’s Day…

Dear Dad,

Is that what I would call you now? Or would I be one of those girls who, as a grown woman, still called you Daddy?

Would I have taken you to lunch today to celebrate you on your special day? Would we have laughed and talked together over a beer?

In my mind, I see us sitting across the table from one another, looking into identical blue eyes.

I think we would have enjoyed each other…found countless similarities in one another.

How I wish I had even one Father’s Day memory with you.

I never made you a card. Never scrawled my name across construction paper for you.

I never made you macaroni art or gave you a tie that you didn’t really want.

I never chose a card for you or wrapped a gift with far too much tape.

But you’ve always been here in my heart.

There’s a spot there that will forever be yours. It is in that spot where my imagination conjures up what it would have been like to give you bear hugs, shower you with kisses, turn to for advice.

It is that spot that makes me hold on to the notion of a heaven.. a place where I could spend eternity thanking you…for all of the gifts that you gave me even after you were gone…my sense of humor, my self-confidence, my ability to see all the potential that this world holds, and my gratitude for the beauty in my life.

I carry these gifts from you that make me who I am. And I hope that in our short time together on this earth, I gave you gifts that changed you as well.

Because even though you’re gone, my heart bursts with love for you,

Nichole

 

Because They’re All I Have…

When I gather them together in one neat stack, I probably have 30 or so pictures of my father.

And when I comb my mind for memories of him, I have zero.

My father has been gone for as long as I can remember.

I was just two years old when he died…such a cruel age to lose a parent.

I would give anything for just one memory…just one wisp of a shared moment.

This stack of photos is all that I have of him.

I don’t know what the skin on his face felt like, but in the photos, it looks so soft.

I don’t know what his hair felt like, but the photos show that it was wavy and smooth.

I never had the chance to hear from him the stories of his youth, but the photos shed some light onto the young man that he was.

I’ve always worried about something happening to my collection of photos…always worried that if they were gone, I would have nothing left of my dad.

So, I’m sending my precious pile of photos to LiveOn Rewind, where they will be professionally preserved.

LiveOn will send me¬†a preservation kit that will include a box custom-designed to fit my photos, a prepaid mailing envelope, a waterproof plastic bag, and secure packaging. Once I’ve mailed it off to them, they will convert my photos and return them to me within 3-4 weeks. The best part is that I’ll be able to see photos in the meantime, as they’ll share them with me as they process them.

Although my father lives in my heart, my photos are my only real connection to him and I’ll feel so much better once I know they’re safe.

Do you have any old pictures that you’d love to keep safe? Here’s a LiveOn discount code for you to use:¬†HOLIDAYREWIND

Thank you to LiveOn for sponsoring this blog post. Please LiveOn to learn more about sharing and preserving your most important memories. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective. Although story ideas were provided, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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