Caring for a parent, Death & Dying, Love letters from World War II

Twenty-one Years

My father left us 21 years ago today. Father’s Day. The day before my birthday. Three events wrapped together.

As I care for this property he loved and find evidence of his living everywhere, I wonder. Would he be proud of what I’m doing? Proud that I’m loving his home and taking care of it? Proud that I’m caring for my mother? Does he wish he could be here doing that, so I wouldn’t have to? Does he, like my mother, wish it weren’t necessary? Does he worry about me? Does he wish I were doing it better?

I don’t know answers. I just wish he weren’t gone. I miss him.

I’ve almost finished transcribing the 500 letters he wrote to my mother during WW2. There are thirteen left. I’m ready to do something different with my early morning time, before my mother gets up. Like my own writing. Or being outside on the cool clear sunny summer mornings breathing the amazing Pacific Northwest air. But I will grieve him again. The letters have returned him to life, albeit a life before I knew him.

When the darkness returns somewhere around the next equinox, I will start on the letters he wrote to his mother and father; but for now I will find him in the wind whispering in the tops of the tall firs and in the call of the mourning dove.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

The last time ever I saw your face.


7 thoughts on “Twenty-one Years”

  1. Lovely words for your dad. I agree with Elizabeth that, based on what you say for I never knew him, the answers would all be as she’s written. You, from my perspective outside looking in, are a stunning success as his daughter, as well, of course, as your mother’s daughter. Put those questions to rest, I would kindly nudge…


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