Updated: Aug 4, 2020
I was very blessed to have had the opportunity to read this letter out loud to my dad on Father's Day on 18 June 2017, five days before he passed away. I will never forget that day, and all the precious moments and memories. I wanted to share this letter to encourage others to write love letters to your loved ones. Many people do not have the opportunity to tell their loved ones how they feel before they are gone. So don't wait until it's too late.
There is so much I want to tell you, but sometimes I don’t know how. I know now that there will never be the best way or the best time to tell you. So here is my letter to you. Ten things I want you to know: 1. I love you so much – even though I don’t always say it, I truly do. I promise I will say it more often from now on – to everyone that I love. Everyone needs to hear it and everyone deserves to be loved. I love you, I love you, I love you with all my heart! Even when you are not with me, I will still love you, always and forever.
2. I am so proud of you and everything that you have done. You have helped so many people in need and inspired so many others to do what you do. You have inspired me to follow my dreams and listen to my heart. You have taught me to be humble but I am also so proud, Daddy. I am proud to call you my father and proud to be your daughter. I know you are proud of me too! I hope I will always make you proud, wherever you are.
3. I am sorry, Daddy. I’m sorry for every stupid thing I’ve ever done. I’m sorry for every time I made you angry or upset. I’m sorry for getting angry with you too. I’m sorry for saying the wrong things at the wrong times. I’m sorry for not understanding you and not listening to you. I’m sorry that you had to suffer this unbearable pain, I’m sorry that I couldn’t take it away. I’m sorry for not knowing what to do. I’m sorry for not spending more time with you, taking walks with you, or going swimming with you when you asked me to. I’m really sorry, Daddy.
4. I know you are sorry too. And I forgive you. We have all done things we regret and wish we hadn’t. But the past is the past and I will not hold on to these memories. It is already forgotten! I understand now that you were going through many challenges and frustrations. I forgive you, Daddy. Please don’t worry about it any more!
5. Thank you for all your support and being such a good listener. You have always supported me and helped me through all my hurdles. You guided me to the right path whenever I felt uncertain or lost. You simply listened and helped me to find my own way. Your unwavering support gave me the strength to make my own decisions and to realise that there will never be a ‘perfect’ choice, decision or path. You never made me feel unworthy or ashamed. You loved me for who I am and for being myself. I have never thanked you for everything you have done for me. I have never realised how much you were there for me all these years. When I had lost all my hair, you still made me feel beautiful. When I was rushing to finish my thesis and stressing about my conclusion, you calmed me down and helped me to find the right words. When I told you my hopes and dreams for the future, you told me, ‘Go for it!’ without any hesitation. When I struggled to make sense of everything that was happening to you the last few years, you reassured me, and helped me to understand and appreciate what we have. Thank you for being the understanding one, and never losing your patience. Thank you!
6. Thank you for loving me so much and caring about me every day. Thank you for worrying about me too. But Daddy, you don’t need to worry about me any more. I’m all grown up now. You don’t need to worry about Mum or Daniel. We will always be there for each other, no matter what. We will look after each other. We will take good care of Mum for you, I promise!
7. I am thankful for every day together. I’m thankful for all our wonderful trips together and getting to see the amazing wonders of the world. I’m thankful we got to have an unforgettable family vacation in Ensenada while seeking alternative treatment, all four of us together. We all took a break from our busy lives to be together, relax, and enjoy some quality and much-needed family time. I’m grateful for the most memorable birthday at La Bufadora. You made me feel so loved and special! I’m grateful we got to meet some amazing people and even made some new friends along the way. I’m grateful for all the little miracles that we experienced and witnessed every day that we were there. Through all our ups and downs, we never lost hope. This experience has taught me to never give up, no matter how tough it is. I will never give up on anything!
8. I want you to know that I will follow my heart, my dreams, and all my hopes for the future. I hope I can achieve as much as you have. I hope I can have your courage and your strength to overcome every challenge. I hope to follow in your footsteps and make a difference in the community. I hope to find someone special that will love me as much as you do. I hope to travel to new places, discover new things about myself, and find new passions. I still hope to write that book some day!
9. I will smile every day. I will take good care of myself. I will remember to rest, eat, drink and play! I will support all my family and my friends, just like you. I will teach my students the lessons you have taught me – to be kind, humble, grateful, caring, loving, and compassionate. I will enjoy life and be happy. I will smile and laugh whenever I think of you!
10. You will always be with me in my heart wherever I am and wherever I go, and I will never stop loving you. You will be with me forever through every moment, happy or sad. I will think of you every day and never forget you.
Daddy, you are not just my father; you are my role model, my mentor, my cheerleader, my teacher, my best friend, and my hero. You are one of a kind and one in a million.
With all my heart, loving you always