Dear Daddy

Seventeen years ago tomorrow (the 7th) we had spent a wonderful weekend day at a farm: drinking fresh cider, petting some animals, apple picking, looking at pumpkins. We came home that day and you suddenly felt quite ill. You asked mommy to take me to my friend K’s house. You sat in her light blue rocker in my play room [it’s an enclosed patio essentially] and I hugged you and gave you a hug and kiss and told you I loved you and went off to play with my friend, a bit perplexed as mom was scared about something.

I had no idea I would never be able to do that again. You died a few hours later on the way to the hospital. They tried several times to get your heart to beat again. We never knew that cancer was also making you sick. I wish that you and mommy had the ability to go to the doctor as much as you took me when I was little. Perhaps we would have had some more time together. Since her heart attack two and a half years ago at age 65, she goes to the doctor. You were young, in three weeks (21 oct 1989) you would have turned 50.

Mommy has done an amazing job raising me. I was a brat and very difficult at times. I hope you are still proud of your only child today.

I miss you. I love you.

/ your daughter.

(image 1 is me in the kitchen making breakfast with my dad. I assume I’m somewhere between kindergarden and 2nd grade (due to length of my hair, I’m thinking more towards 2nd grade). Please note the penguin on the fridge)
(image 2 is my dad with his dad (pop-pop), who had several heart attacks and lived through most of them. He died the day the Challenger blew up in 1986 (I think). My dad didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to his father either. We received the phone call as he was about to go out the door to the airport.) [complete sidenote: my mother lost her father suddenly as well. she was in college and raced home from upstate to the island by LIRR in a blizzard. I don’t think she had a chance to say goodbye either.]