October 2016

Dear Dad,

I am writing this letter to you because it is very important to me that I share a few things. I want you to know first and most importantly that I do not blame you for anything that has happened or will happen in the future. I know that it would break your heart to see how much this disease has affected our family. I want to tell you that this is not your fault, or anyone else’s, and that I trust there is a reason bigger than us all that this is happening to our family.

I want to thank you for inspiring me with your love of knowledge and learning. Although these days politics, current events and literature are not on your mind, I will always remember the version of you that was so passionate about sharing your wisdom. I know that even though you can not tell me, you are so proud of me, and I want you to know that this is only the beginning.

It is very important to me that you know I am truly happy. It often feels like all these great things are happening in my life and you are missing them all.

As a little kid, I never would have imagined a future without you in it. It feels strange to say that because although you are physically here, the traits, tendencies and characteristics that make you the dad I grew up with have long since departed.

I want you to know that I am going to do incredible things in my lifetime and I am always going to wish you were there to see them.

I often forget that although this disease is affecting those around you – it impacts you as well. I hope that you are content and never lose your sense of humour. I know that you must feel scared and confused and for that I am truly sorry.

You are and always will be one of the most influential people in my life. I hope that if I take anything away from all of this, it is resilience and the ability to face life head on.

There are so many questions and thoughts that I have and will have in my life that I may never get the opportunity to ask you. I have an incredible support system, but no one will ever replace you. I need you to know that I will never stop loving you, and I will never blame you for missing the big moments in my life. I know that even when you are not mentally or physically present, you will always be looking over me.

Everyone tells me that the best thing I can do is imagine you at your best and remember my favourite memories with you. I have way too many memories to choose just one favourite, but those are the moments that I make a conscious effort to replay in my mind. This is the person that I will always remember you to be.

Love you forever.