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An Open Letter To My Father

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Posted May 25, 2008 by jim young in Lifestyle

– jim young

This is a reprint of an article I wrote 16 years ago. Since Father’s Day is coming up in a few weeks I though it appropriate to reprint it here.

On this, the occasion of my first Father’s Day without my father, I address the following letter to Dad.

Dear Dad,

There’s no doubt in my mind that you knew how much I loved you, even if the words were never spoken. For that I will be eternally grateful.

I’m sure Leah prepared a nice room for you. Did she make you some home made peanut brittle? Were you able to eat it? Is it true that they take your false teeth and give you back your real teeth in heaven?

A lot has happened in the short time since you left us but I probably don’t need to tell you that. I’ve felt your guiding hand with me throughout most of it.

We’ve moved to the country. I think you knew that was in the back of our minds for some time, but it’s too bad you didn’t get to see it. You’d love it here. The air’s clean and fresh and the people take the time just to be friendly.

You always said when the bulldozers got too close to home it would be time to move. You sure surprised us all that you were so serious and so dramatic about it! They’re almost gone now, but they’ve left subdivisions in the fields we used to walk through.

Mike says he wants to dynamite them, but that’s just the youth in him talking.

I’ve been fixing the place up a bit. If you’ve been watching, you probably got quite a chuckle out of it. I never did inherit your handyman talents. Okay, so I let My Shirley do all the sawing, but at least I held the boards for her.

I did inherit some of your bad habits though. Like using old gas in the Lawnboy we just bought at a garage sale. I don’t know who was more surprised, My Shirley or me, that I was able to take it apart, fix it and get it back together again. I thought about you a lot when I was working on it. I don’t remember you ever teaching me how to fix a lawnmower, but it dawned on me that the only way I knew what to do was from watching you so many times. That led me to realize how many things you taught me, just by letting me watch.

Of course if I hadn’t watch you use old gas, I wouldn’t have needed to fix it in the first place! By the way, was it really a gas and oil mix from 1989 or did you just forget to change the tags last year?

Mom sends her love. She’s doing fine but she misses you as we all do. And before I go I’ve just got one last question for you – Is Elvis there with you or what?

Love Jim

P.S. Say hi to Rocky for us. He would’ve loved it here too.

– 30 –


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