I received an email from my father day before yesterday, two days after he died. My brother Randy had found a letter on my dad’s computer with instructions to get it to all of us should he pass away. I was afraid to read it, afraid that it would confirm some of my inner fears about love and rejection, after I quit bawling I put it away to read again. This morning I would like to share that letter with you all… in its unadulterated entirety. I hope this moves you as much as it moved me.
My Family, 9/22/2009
If you’re reading this, I have left this world. Hopefully it was quick… I really hate waiting, but you all know that. I’m sitting in my house thinking of the times we have all had together, good and bad. You must know by now that there isn’t a training manual for raising kids. Parents make mistakes, but generally learn from them most of the time. I know I drank too much when I was younger, smacked you sometimes when I shouldn’t have and yelled when I should have been listening. All I can say is that’s life. I also loved each and everyone of you as if you were the only child in the world and worried every time I couldn’t get a hold of you or heard you were hurt. I lucked out because I had a wife, who I miss more than anything, who took great care of the family things while I was out on a cruise or working late. She played both roles while I was absent and never complained. Your little mother was one in a billion.
I have left some instructions for Randy to carryout. He and I have spoke on many occasions about what I want done with this old body and some of my things. A couple things I want you all to do as a family is morn my passing with laughter and smiles, remembering the good times we shared together. If you decide to cry, just remember a time I beat your ass for no good reason. I want all of you to get together about a year or so after I’m gone and mix my ashes with your mother and put them in the Puget Sound. Some of my favorite memories nest in that area. You might want to wait until its warm, so summer might be the best time to think about this. I left your mothers ashes with Lee, so let him know. I spent everything so you should not wait for your fortunes to be made by me.
One more thing; I loved all of you as if you were my own children…. Oh wait, you were. I did love all of you differently but never one more than another. Each of you are shitheads and angels at any one given moment. That’s what makes you special and a “Devine”. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you are having troubles and need advice, turn to each other. Don’t wait until you are as old as me to realize family is important.
See you on the other side….. Love….. Your Dad
I still tear up when I read that, my father was wise and insightful. He knew that I had issues with the appearance that he loved the other children more that me. He knew that although we wanted dad to be kind and gentle he was a little rough around the edges, that was just the way of the world. His advice shows that he knew that he had made mistakes with his siblings and didn’t want us to make the same mistakes.
I wonder if we will listen to him??