Monday, March 21, 2011

Dear Papa:

I know you've been gone awhile. And, before that, we weren't as close as we should have been. I won't make any excuses for myself, but I will just say that, sometimes, life sneaks up on you. I still remember when I was 10 and you and Grammy made me promise that, when I grew to be a teenager, I wouldn't stop being "your girl," and by that you meant spending time with you both. I apologize, because I did just that.

The thing is, Papa, I could really use your help. You're not like Grammy or anyone else in the family. I could have told you everything about what is going on in my life, and, even though you have strict Baptist standards, you'd have given me an objective answer. You'd have loved me enough to try to help me, despite your disagreement with my choices. You'd see the logic to all of this and find a way to show it to me straight so I couldn't misinterpret it.

What I really know is, I could use a hug. Not just any old hug, but one of yours. Before you got older and sick. Like when you used to rock me in the rocking chair. That green sweater you had was so soft, I couldn't help but feel a warm comfort.

You would tell me that I deserve better, in that almost stern voice of yours. You would make me believe it, and not just in an intangible way. You would show me all the ways I'm a good person and help me to make the choices I need to make to set things straight. You would reveal to me what I feel should be a glaringly obvious lesson to all of this. For some reason I can't see it myself.

I know that you did what you could. You taught me to be thoughtful of others. Compassion for those weaker and worse off than myself. You taught me selflessness, and how to be giving even with others take from and hurt me. But I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. And, sometimes, when others make mistakes or injure me, I can't stop from feeling justifiably angry. I need you to tell me how to put this away, Papa.

I'll write again, sometime soon. I love you.

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