Dear Dad,

Today you’ve been gone almost a month.  How is that possible?  How has it been that long since I’ve talked to you, since I’ve called you on my way to work?  Sometimes I still can’t quite believe it.
 
I’ve had some hard days missing you, Dad.  Some days I’m okay, I can think of you and it doesn’t tear me apart.  There are other days, though, where I get home from work and just cry because it hurts and I miss you and there is nothing in the world I can do to change it.  I feel powerless and vulnerable.  One day last week I sat on the couch with your electric drill in my lap.  It was the only thing I had of yours near me, and I held it like you would a stuffed animal or a blanket.  I’m sure I must have looked ridiculous, but I don’t really care.
 
Really though, Dad, I think I’ve done a much better job at taking care of myself than I would have been able to do a year or so ago.  It’s amazing the timing on all of this.  I don’t think that I’ve learned and grown and changed BECAUSE you were going to die, but all of that has PREPARED me to deal with it better.  It’s not the end of everything, Dad, but it’s a change that’s altered me significantly, and I have the tools I need to handle it.  I can’t help but wonder how this is going to change me overall and how I’m going to make my life ultimately better for it.
 
You wanna know what I’ve learned in the last few weeks, Dad?  Life is too short and too unpredictable to spend time being unhappy.  If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that in reality, all that matters at all is the joy you experience and the people you share it with.  That’s it.
 
That’s what we remember about you that makes the loss easier to bear.  When we were happy together.  And there were lots of those times, Dad.
 
There’s lots of things that we spend time focusing on that don’t need near the importance that we give them.  Not money, not jobs, being thinner than who-gives-a-crap-who, not anything like that.  Do what makes you happy and do it with people you love.
 
I’ve decided I’m going to spend more time reading books I want to read, magazines I enjoy, I’m going to sew, knit, watch movies and spend time with Sam, get my nails done and go shopping with mom, keep in touch with and spend time with my other friends, work out when I want to, sleep when I want to, plan and go on vacations, take days off just because, watch Friends while I go to sleep at night… those are things that make me happy.  I’m going to do them, and every day.  Work is going to fund them and a place where I enjoy being, but it is not the be-all-end-all of my life, and neither is the money I make.  I am going to be responsible with my money and save for the future, but I will not worry about it every day.  It just doesn’t matter that much, does it, Dad?
 
I’m realizing that I can be so sad that I cannot stand it AND look forward to the rest of my life at the same time.  Never realized that you could really feel multiple emotions at the same time, but you can.  That’s a nice thing.
 
I love you, Dad, and I miss you even more.
 
Love,
Me
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