Monday, May 29, 2017

Dear Daddy:

On this Memorial Day, 2017, my throat is full of tears as I realize that it has been eight years since you left us. Your spirit soars in me every single day. I feel it when I practice my piano. I feel it when I hear beautiful music. I hear your voice when I am feeling low—always there, my forever cheerleader. I feel your pride when I have a wonderful performance. I feel your strength when things get tough. I feel your love when I express my own to my loved ones.

All those years ago when you were so young way over there in Belgium and France, I wonder how you and your men survived the stress and terror you all must have felt. I know you weren’t in the trenches like some, but you were always in harm’s way. 

I will never forget the story you told about the day you came home, and I answered the door with, “Are you my Daddy?” Hard to believe that was almost three quarters of a century ago now.

With each passing year, we all gain perspective about so many things, but particularly about the horrors and damages of war. Uncle Jack never recovered from his battle nightmare, still others never came back, and their families mourn to this day.

You were my first hero. You were my first definition of love. 

Your music lives and thrives in my heart and comes out my fingers, now beginning to show signs of age and early arthritis. I will keep playing until I can’t, Daddy, because I know that puts a smile on your face and proud tears in your beautiful blue eyes.

I know you are at peace up there, and I hope you and Mom are dancing to the Anniversary Waltz.

Your picture is on top of our armoire. Your flag sits proudly in its triangle case. I look up at you every day and remember that all that’s good in me came from you.