You see, the thing is.

Dear Dadadadad

Wow. Four years, hey? Beans on toast. I didn’t think I’d get this far. And, weirdly, this is the year I felt the most okay, and the most not okay.

If I could name for you the myriad of times where I’ve wanted you to just appear and say “hey, duckie, just tell me about it”, and I could splurge and write and draw things on serviettes, and you would understand, I would. I would pick out the days on the calendar and say:

“this one. right here. you should’ve been there”.

That sounds angry. It’s not. It’s just me still missing you when life kicks me in the ass.

If I could name for you the myriad of times this past year that you would be so proud of. The days and times when I could stomp your toe and phone you, too excited to speak and bubbling forth with ideas and plans and undeniable joy, I would.

I’d pick out that same calendar, and ring those days in green and say,

“Dad, these are the days you would have lit cigars for me”.

But, I’m making it. I’m making it because, for the first time, I think I have an idea of how to.

Most of all, there are days where I just want to pick up that proverbial dog ‘n bone and tell you a funny story, read you something that made me laugh all the way through. How I really think you’d be a total Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/LinkedIn addict.

Does that make any sense?

I don’t just miss you when I’m sad, Dad. I miss you when I’m shining brightly too.

I want to sit you down, with a cup of painter’s sweet tea and tell you about how Cameron can count to twenty and how I’m convinced NBJ is just like me when I was little, and how KJ is so inquisitive and curious it drives her parents mad sometimes.  I want to tell you about their school, their lives and how they are so, so, so full of love for every moment.

You have three girl grandchildren, Dad. Three. Yes, I know, we’ve bulk ordered cannons and we have alerted the world to watch out for this lot. I truly believe they’re going to change the world. You should know, you’re their Grandpa. You know how your dynasty, quite frankly, rolls.

I want to tell you about the Ugly Sister and how she’s flourishing. Doing really well, but at the same time working so freaking hard. She loves it, every moment of the insanity. Just like me.

I want to tell you about the Dickie Darling and how he’s a Dad, just like you. Ever-present and never afraid to make a complete tit out of himself, just to hear the tinkle of his children’s sweet laughter. How he listens. The way he  listens, Dad, it’s like you’re listening.

I want to tell you about how much I lean on my other sister. How much we talk, how much I know that I am so glad she is, literally, my Ali/Ally (and there she thought it was just a nickname!) in this parenting parade. And just how much she loves your son. She would do anything in the world for him, and she loves him like people should love. Without fear. Without limit. And because of that, how she loves each and every one of us, just the same way.

I want to tell you about the UM and how stubborn she is. Still. How stubborn and yet so in touch with her children’s dreams. How much she really does write now that she can get to the computer, and her stories, all funny or sad, and how she tells them. How she worries about us. How much I get her now, because so often I see her in myself.

I want to tell you about me. About how in all that seems insane, I feel more grounded. I feel like I know what I’m doing. Bet you never, ever thought I’d say that. But, it’s true. For the first time in my life, I really feel like I know what I’m doing. How I’m brave, when it would  be so much easier to be a coward. And how every night when I put Cameron to bed, I think, man you’d love this part, right here. With the night-time cuddles, storytime  and fiddling around looking for the right bunny to sleep with. You’d love that part, right there.

I want to tell you about how I think that if you were alive, you’d be a phenomenal grandpa. Full of stories and your listening to their laughter. How I wish life could have given you more time with the troupe we all now call “our girls”.

It’s not easy, Dad. And it’s not grown any easier as each year has passed. How disappointed I have been, and how excited I have been. I look back and I understand why you would tell me that every sadness and every smile is just another thread in my carpet of life. How each and every one brings it more to life, and how each and every colour makes it more than it was before.

I hope you’re proud Dadadad. I hope I make you proud.

I miss you, in the way that I know you’re only person who could ever call me this and get away with it,


10 thoughts on “You see, the thing is.”

  1. Beautifully written – so much heart and feeling. I am sure that your Dadadad is extremely proud of you and what you have accomplished in all spheres of your life.

  2. *cry*

    I’m quite sad that My Evil Mother has screwed up this grandparent thing for my kid-to-be. I wish my kid could have a grandfather like I have.

    I hope my grandfather lives long enough to be give them a glimpse of what I was priveliged enough to have.


  3. Oh Cath… wow. Just wow.
    I have actual tears in my eyes.
    That never happens.

    Okay except for when I looked up at the stars on Saturday night and actually saw the milky way AND two shooting stars. And then driving home on Sunday when I wondered if my knucklehead will ever miss me like I missed him…

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