An Open Letter To My Dad

dadmikecathieDear Dad,

After your last visit here, and then speaking to you yesterday, I have to admit, I’m worried. If our lives were fueled by the love others have for us, I alone could keep you alive forever. I wish that were the case, but since it is not, I want to tell you some things.

  • Dad, I am so proud to be your daughter.
  • I love that I look like you.
  • I love that I have your personality, your laugh, your sense of humor, and your resilient spirit.
  • I love that we’re adventurers, and storytellers.
  • I love that you make me laugh so much, you make me lose my lady-like mannerisms and I flap my hands around like a retarded seal until I can breathe again.
  • I love that I have never even once entertained the thought that you could ever not love me in all of my 46 years.
  • I love how you refused to have any other children besides me and Michael so we would know we could never be replaced.
  • I love how you doggedly refused to give up on Michael, and how you try so hard to become
    Dad in the USMC
    Dad in the USMC

    tech-savvy enough to follow his blogs and internet communications even though it is clear you are kind of clueless about computers.

  • I love how you scold me if I don’t ask you for help, and how you nag me to eat more, and eat better.
  • I love how you always offer to go beat up people who are pissing me off.
  • I love how safe you make me feel, and how my tears are your tears too.
  • I love that you got to know my kids, and can see the awesomeness in them I’ve always seen.
  • Even better, I love that you think all their awesomeness comes from you, and not from me. And any flaws they have, we both agree, can be blamed on their father.
  • I love that you are proud of what kind of mother I turned out to be.
  • I love that you forgave mom, and even feel sad for the suffering she is going through right now.
  • I love every single one of your stories, even the ones that make me cringe.
  • I love that you are an interesting person who has seen some things.
  • I love everything about you– the good and the bad.
My grandfather holding my dad.
My grandfather holding my dad.

I know we get into awkward territory when we discuss God, but I want you to know… He does, in fact, truly exist, and I thank Him for picking you to be my dad. Most of the characteristics that have allowed me to survive the crippling-kinds of experiences I have experienced, I got from you. I can’t be positive, but I think you gave Michael the same ones. You have nothing to apologize to me for. I remember you trying, and I am thankful for that.

I imagine every parent wishes we’d done something differently…tried a little harder or been a little more laid back. Don’t be so harsh with yourself for the things you wished you’d done differently. You simply did not fail me, Dad. I always felt your love inside my heart, no matter how far apart we were.

I pray for you constantly these days. I can see your health faltering, and it scares me to think you might not be with us much longer. I feel four years’ old again, afraid and alone. So, please try to put off that moment for as long as possible, okay? I can’t lose you again right now. Do everything the doctors tell you to do.

I love you, Dad. Please stick around a little while longer.

~ Catherine Mallicoat

me and dad one

15 responses to “An Open Letter To My Dad”

  1. Bird,
    beautiful words and sentiments for your father.

    my dad is four years passed. still miss his strong and gentle friendship. I wish he had listened to me about the Lord and his health too.
    1) be thankful you still have the opportunity to encourage better than even the great that he already is…. Pray for open ears and hearts while we still have time.
    2) continue to build into the next generation the good that was passed to you from the previous.
    3) always be humble enough to realize that someday we may be need the loving and strong advice/help of our children just as we have found the need to speak to encourage our parents. Pray again you Our ears and hearts to be open if necessary, and for our kids to have the same courage that you have for your dad.


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