“Drinking beer and telling lies” as Dad would say (at the 2004 World Series)
It is Father’s Day. This is the fourth Father’s Day that has arrived since my dad died. I still miss him every single day.
One good thing is that this is the FIRST Father’s Day that I did not cry when I went to the card aisle. That has to count for something.
Recently, I helped my mom clean out her attic. I found a box of my old stuff. In it, I discovered an envelope with my name written in my father’s notorious script. It was one of the Palanka letters I received on my Junior Retreat.
Here is what he wrote down.
October 25, 1984
My Dear Mary Beth, This is a difficult letter to write because I try to tell you as often as possible how I feel about you, and something new is hard. I’ll try not to be too long-winded.
Every day I pray and thank God for you, for you are the most wonderful gift that I could receive from Him. You are my joy and my happiness.
I know that I ‘m not as patient with you as I should be. I know that I’m short with you, and I regret it every time. I hope that you know it’s because I want you to be everything you can, and I seek your happiness always.
No man could ask for more than you are in a daughter. You’re a good girl yet full of fun and life. You’re a mover and a shaker who loves God and is loved by God very much (look at the mother he gave you.)
Thank you, Mary, for never giving me a worry or a care about what or who you are. Thank you for being a truly beautiful person. Thank you for all the happiness, joy, love, fun and pride you have given to me.
Thanks for understanding that your daddy doesn’t want you to grow up and understanding that I’ll always need to have you as my little girl.
Thank you for talking to me more. Thank you for being kind to others. Thank you for being nice to Gram. Thank you for making your mother so happy.Thank you for being such a good friend and sister to your brother.
But I supposed that I thank God for you so often that I should say thank you for being you. I could go on and on.
I could go on even longer about the things you have forgiven me for and how you still love me. Thank you.
When we found out that you were to be born, I was as happy as I had ever been. When you were born on December 31 and gave me a tax deduction for the whole year, that was a sign of the beginning of all the good things and happiness that your brought and are still bringing to us all.
My dream for you is that you be as happy and fulfilled as you can possibly be. I pray that God allows you to be as happy as you have made your family and me.
I pray that Jesus takes you in his arms and protects you forever.
After that, I pray you have all that you want and that you have children that make you as happy as you have made me.
Mary Beth, you are a beautiful woman with charm and grace, blessed with intelligence and wit as well as an inner glow that makes you shine.
I thank God for allowing me to be your father. It’s a high gift.
I truly love you now and forever – no matter what.
I loved my father dearly. But I am the first to admit (as would he) that our relationship was complicated. That is not to say that it lacked love. Quite to the contrary, we adored each other.
But there were hurts. There were disagreements. We had our share of impasses.
The thing is that our relationship was always REAL.
This letter is invaluable to me. I will hold it in my heart forever. It is a gift better than any other he had ever given to me. I treasure it.
So on this Father’s Day, 2015, I don’t feel quite so sad that my dad is not with me, grilling a steak and drinking a beer or hitting some golf balls as we used to do. Because you know what? He is right here.
Happy Father’s Day.
To learn about palanka click this link http://www.ehow.com/how_8088924_write-palanca-letter.html