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WRITING A LETTER TO MY FATHER
to mow the lawn whenever it needed a trim, but all my friends had gas lawn mowers while I had to use a push mower. It always took forever, and I’m still holding that against you. While you only knew me as a cop, I wish I could sit down and talk to you about my career as an attorney and how so many of the skills you helped me learn have been useful. I also want to thank you for inspiring me to become a pilot. It was thanks to you and all the stories you used to tell that I was inspired to get my license. I wish I had the chance to tell you a few stories of my own about how much I love flying. I also want to write you about something I’ll always remember you telling me. It was the morning after Mom passed away, and I remember how distraught you were. It was really hard for all of us that day, and you made a comment to me that I’ve never forgotten. You said, “I wish I told your mom that I loved her more often than I did.” Having watched you go through that, I made up my mind that day that I was never going to feel that way. I know you loved Mom and she loved you a lot, but you and she were never the kind to show much affection, at least not in front of us kids. Growing up, I never saw you express that affection, so it was hard for me to break from that mindset. When I got married, it was tough at first to tell her “I love you” and be demonstrative of that emotion, but I was able to get better with practice. I’m sure you remember that when I was a police officer, even though we only lived about 5 miles from each other, I would call
I was posed with this question, “If you were to write a letter to anyone, who would that be?” And I thought of you. I want to write you a letter in particular because it’s been such a long time since we talked last and there are a lot of things I’d love to sit down and talk with you about. I was a young cop when you passed away, and a lot has happened in my life since, but I have to let you know I’ve always remembered the lessons you taught me. Throughout my life, I remember how hard you worked to support us, and that’s something I’ve always carried with me. You taught me how to work, both just by setting a good example and through instruction. The first job I ever had was at 14 delivering papers, something I picked up only after your constant encouragement. While I might not have been a grateful teen at the time, I’m very thankful for the skills and work ethic I learned from that experience. Although, I do have one small bone to pick with you. I’m still angry you never bought a gas lawn mower. I know you expected me
you every night and tell you I love you. For the first several years, you wouldn’t respond to me; you’d always say something to the effect of, “Well, me too.” What was interesting was on the night before you passed away, I called you up like I always did. I told you that I loved you, and you said to me, “I love you, too.” It wasn’t the first time you told me that you loved me, but I will always remember you saying it that night. I’m writing this letter not just to go over our experiences together but also to tell you how much I love you and how much you meant to me growing up. I became the man I am today because I had the opportunity to watch and learn from you.
“I was a young cop when you passed away, and a lot has happened in my life since, but I have to let you know I’ve always remembered the lessons you taught me.”
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