I know you can read this and that you miss me too.

Life is not easy without you and mom.  It never gets easier missing you but I take comfort in my own family and in what you have done and given me.  I have wonderful memories, a strong moral character, a questionable sense of humour, and a blueprint for love and happiness.

It has been ten years since we held each other’s hands, as you lay dying in that hospital room at the Bowmanville Hospital. 

You are the only person that I watched die; taking one breath at a time, while your lungs fought and failed to extract the carbon dioxide that was building up in your body.

I miss you and love you.

Happy birthday.

I can’t believe ten years have come and gone.  You would have celebrated your eighty second birthday, instead I will think of you and speak of you to my children.

I couldn’t have had a better dad.

You were always there for me and you let me watch you shave each morning, while answering my endless questions.

You were such a good man.  Always thinking of other people.  Fighting for freedom, at the expense of your own comfort and life.

You brought us to Canada in 1985, when you were fifty years old.  You struggled to find work and learn a new culture and language.  In the end your giftedness as a Chemist and Photographer were rejected by this society, and you swept the hallways of a High School, and mopped the stairways of a large apartment building.

You lived a life of great struggle, but a life worth living, and writing about.

I am your son. 

I will always be your son.

I wake up every morning trying to become a better person, and to leave the world a little better, then I found it.

I miss your smile.  Your nagging persistence of correcting my grammar.  I miss your stories.  I miss your openness to everything I embraced over the years. 

I admire your patience.  Your love.  Your gentleness.  Your tenacity.  Your sense of humour.  Your love for your wife and my mother.

I appreciate our morning fishing trips, your stubbornness, your love of literature, your passion for photography, your humility, and your moral compass.

I love and miss you.

I wish you a very happy birthday. 

I would love to see you soon, but I have many more miles to go before I sleep.  I need to be there for my children, like you were there for me. 

I still don’t really know where I am going, who I am becoming, what life is about, or what my children will say about me one day, but I am hopeful that they will think of me as I think of you.

I didn’t realize that writing this would flood my eyes with tears, and I am once again embarrassing myself in McDonald’s, while I write and drink my morning coffee.

I loved our coffee time every day.  Those ten or fifteen minutes meant the world to me.  We would talk about nothing and everything.

I will never forget the last words you said to me.

“We love each other”

It wasn’t I love you.  I have always love we.  It was, we love each other.

In the present.  Right now.  Today and tomorrow.

I love you.

I miss you.

I will see you again.

Please say hello to Heaven and tell mom I love her too.