A letter to my dad

(5 Posts)
glossyflower Sat 10-Aug-13 08:46:45

Dear dad,

As an only child, me you and mum were always very close. I remember all the things we did together; spending time on the allotment; going to the seaside to collect stones for your garden; BBQ's we'd have every year for mums birthday; going to see Manchester United play against Bayern Munich in Barcelona; our lovely summer holidays abroad (that time you didn't fancy the pool one afternoon, so I braved going alone only to come back with green hair because I didn't know there was something wrong with the water and the pool was closed); the time I was crying in hospital and asked you to come - you and mum dropped what you were doing and came right away; the time in Zante when we went on a big boat and you coaxed me to jump off into the water with you; the time you took me on a driving lesson and I kept kangarooing and stalling, until you got inpatient and made me get out then you stalled the car; the time you gave me away at my wedding, and on the way there we sat in the back of the car holding my hand so tightly; the time when I found out I was pregnant with your first grandchild and I phoned to tell you first; all the times we would hold competitions as to who could burp the loudest; the times when mum would work nights and I would sleep in your bed with you; the times when we would take my dogs for walks, and you chasing Ruby who ran to a young couple and jumped up at them with muddy paws; the times when I was little you would carry me up to bed; the time I graduated as a nurse and you had the video camera on me collecting my certificate - only you videoed the wrong person and by the time you realised I was coming off the stage; every sunday morning me you and mum would sit having breakfast in bed with you reading The Sun, mum reading a magazine and me reading a comic...I could go on and on!!

Dad, I know you have struggled over the past year, having your bone marrow transplant, and having nasty infections as a result of the chemotherapy. Your transplant was successful but for some reason it was as if you knew your time was coming. You would say things like, 'My aim is your wedding/baby/mum's 50th birthday'. I'd say 'dad, what are you saying that for? You are well again!'
I think since Christmas, you haven't really been yourself. You gradually shut down, couldn't eat, couldn't walk properly, got muddled - the doctors could only explain it by thinking you were depressed.
So everyday either mum or me would make you get up, try and make you eat, and make you go for a walk with us up to the cut and back - I would even time you to give encouragement to show how well you were doing.
But, you wasn't depressed. You caught a rare virus that affected your brain, unbeknown to us it was causing unspeakable irreversible damage.
On Easter sunday, you went into hospital. I was heavily pregnant and due to give birth in three weeks time.
One day you collapsed, and the doctors didn't know why. When you recovered, you then told mum and I that you were going. Mum asked 'where?'...you said 'heaven'. You said sorry to mum for having to leave her and told me to look after her.
At the time I just dismissed what you were saying as confusion, because you had been muddled up recently.

By the time I gave birth to your beautiful first grandchild, Jessica Rose Maria (Maria after your mum), you had deteriorated and was in a coma, ventilated in intensive care.
5 days after this, the doctors told us it was best to stop all your treatment.
By this point you was unrecognisable, your body was swollen with fluid, you had so many lines in your body so taking all that down made you look more like you again.
Not even a week old, Jessica would snuggle up in your arms, and you both lay there sleeping looking like two peas in a pod.
I held onto your hand and broke down, and I said to you through my tears that I loved you and it wasn't supposed to be like this. I felt guilty for crying in front of you, even though you were unconscious, because you would always say to me how you hate seeing me sad and to be happy.

Me and mum brought you home, and the day after you came home, we had Sky Sports on the tv, we had the doors and windows open as it was such a lovely sunny day, and you opened your eyes!
You couldn't speak, but mum, Jessica and me sat on your bed holding your hand and looking into your eyes that finally you WERE in there. After weeks of mum opening your eyelids to see where you were, and there was nothing, you finally opened your eyes and saw us!
Although you couldn't speak or move, you opened your eyes a few more times. One time, Jessica was crying and you opened your eyes and tried to turn your head to look. I told you it was the baby and asked if you wanted me to hold her up for you to see, you couldn't say yes but you nodded.
I held up Jessica, your lovely granddaughter, she was crying so loud but your eyes looked at her for the longest time.
I knew that you most definitely knew she had finally arrived, and that made me so happy.
At night, mum would push the sofa next to your bed and sleep by your side. I slept on the other sofa, and Jessica would sleep in her moses basket.
Every day, me and mum would wash you, dress you, I would change your tracheostomy dressing, and make you comfortable. The district nurses came, but we wanted to care for you ourselves, so they stopped coming as just asked us to call if we needed anything.
Your body got rid of all the extra fluid and you looked like my dad again, which was really nice to see.
We had friends and family come in and out all day to see you.

A week after having you home, one night, your breathing got noisy. Me and mum both laid down on the sofa next to you, me in the middle (like we did every sunday morning when I was little) and we knew that you were on your way.
After such a long battle, dad, you went to heaven on the 10th May 2013.
You were right (as you always are!), your aim was to see me get married and have a baby. You didn't make mum's birthday though, it's next week. I am arranging a big BBQ for her, and whilst making preparations, I found her last years birthday card from you.
In it said that you had the most wonderful loving and caring wife, to have a lovely day and that you would be thinking of mum.
That last part, a bit strange you would say you would be thinking of her, when you were actually with her on her birthday last year...I think you meant for this year when you knew you would not physically be here.
I am going to give it to her again on her 50th birthday next week.

Dad, me and mum are so lost without you, but I have had a wonderful 33 years with you, some people don't even get that - so I am so grateful that you are my dad.
Jessica won't remember you, and that makes me feel sad, but she will know you as I will make sure I tell her all about you and that you are with her.
Look after mum from heaven won't you? She misses you so much and I know she longs to be with you.

I love you so much.

Until we meet again, your ever loving daughter xxxx

Glossy - such a beautiful, lovely, sad, funny and heart wrenching letter. I am so sorry for your loss. My DF died suddenly 5 years ago - he was my rock - so I know what you are going thro.

You sound like an amazing daughter, who had an amazing father x

ILovePonyo Sat 10-Aug-13 09:22:03

That's lovely Glossy you've described everything so well, your dad sounds like a wonderful man and such a caring dad to you smile

My dad died suddenly nearly a year and a half ago, I miss him so much. My dd was 14 months old when he died, so although she won't remember him you've inspired me to write something similar for when she's older.
Thank you for sharing smile

glossyflower Sat 10-Aug-13 23:41:21

Thank you friendly, I'm sorry about you losing your dad. I have been told that as time goes by it gets easier, but I'm sure there will always be that gaping hole.

ponyo sorry you lost your dad too, and having your DD read your story would be so wonderful for her when she's older.
I have no doubt our children will know their grandfathers.
My mums father died when she was 14, but as she always talked about him to me, I felt him around me. Even to this day I think of him often and I never even met him!

This letter is kind of bereavement therapy for me, as I have been feeling like I haven't grieved enough for him.
I have re read the letter and now I am feeling like I can finally get the tears out.

Xxx

PrinceGeorgeII Sat 12-Apr-14 18:13:43

thanks

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