I share these personal letters for one reason and one reason alone. Dad’s are important and they truly have an impact on their children. So please, never give up.
For the past 8 years, my family and I have belonged to the same parish. Although I’m grounded in my Catholic faith, I never took advantage of a program called “Christ Renews His Parish (CRHS).” There is an annual CRHS retreat for women as well as a CRHS retreat for men. For whatever reason, I never took advantage of the annual retreat but this year I did. But this isn’t going to be about the men’s retreat itself but instead a portion of the retreat where unbenounced to the men, the facilitators solicited letters from friends and relatives.
Although I was the recipient of more then 40 letter, there are four that I’m going to share with you today.
When we were individually given packets of these letter, the facilitator also handed us a box of tissue and said, you’ll probably need this. The 26 of us were given packets and were directed to find a private place on the parish campus when reading the letters. I soon found out that the tissues were truly needed.
The following letters are from my immediate family.
From my wife
You have been and always will be the love of my life. You make me a better women, mother and now “Fafa.” (Nick name for grandma). I can’t imagine, nor do I want to, live without you as my husband and best friend. You stand as a witness and an example of what a true Catholic should be, man or women.
Together we have raised a wonderful family, not perfect but certainly loving, good, honest hard working people. You, yourself are so honest and dedicated to what you have done, not just as an employee but certainly as an example of a father and a man.
You have managed to provide me with everything I have ever wanted or needed. I have been one lucky women who was fortunate to be able to stay home and enjoy the growth of our children. While I was at home, having fun with our children, you were off to work dealing with the daily struggles that fill the days, weeks months and years. We have rarely; if ever had to do without anything and that’s been because of your sacrifices. These last few years, I have been home with our grandchildren yet you continue to take on the responsibility of bringing home the bacon and bread. And sometimes cooking and serving it up.
I Love, want and need you in my life and that of our family. Saying thank you doesn’t seem enough so I’ll say I thank God for you.
From my son
I’m so glad that we have finally been able to communicate with each other and enjoy our relationship that we have together. I have learned about myself, about you and how we are similar in so many ways. You taught me what hard work is all about. I work as hard as I can every day and try my best because of you. You taught me about respect and manners. You showed me how to play with pets and show them love. Everyone else’s pets are boring but ours are always so wonderful. But the thing that I am most grateful for is that you taught me about love for your family and faith. In the end, all we have is our family and faith. Through good times and rough, we will always have each other. Knowing this and living this is comforting. Sometimes it feels like all I’m doing is just enduring day after day and it becomes exhausting. But I get through it because of what you taught me through talks and actions. Years ago, when I was dating that girl Lauren and I was really upset because we broke up, you talked to me about how things will get better. Then when I got home from work that day and started feeling bad again, I saw that you have left me a gift with a note in it about how you loved me and hoped I would feel better soon. I immediately started crying because I hadn’t felt more love before and it was really great. I went upstairs to thank you and was trying to talk through the tears but couldn’t. You thought I was crying because of the girl, but it was because I love you. You’re always there for me when I need you the most and want to thank you for being such a great father to me.
I love you,
From my daughter
Now that I’m a parent all the things you used to tell me when I was growing up have so much more meaning to me. You always worked so hard to provide and make sure that we not only had what we needed but also a faith filled upbringing. It’s true what they say about being a parent being the toughest job you will ever have. You are one of my inspiration, not only as a parent but as a Catholic too. With our recent struggles, you helped me so much by guiding me to God for help. I finally did what you said and stopped thinking I could take care of things on my own and left it whole heartedly in God’s hands. I also know that in one way or another that you will always be there for me and my family too. Ever since I was a little, I have been terrified that you will be taken away from me, like grandma was. I know that’s no way to live and any time I feel that way, I pray. Every day I feel more and more of you comes out in my parenting and I pray I can be an example to my boys, as you are to me and Charlie. I will never lose faith in God or my family because of you. You have taught me so much and mean so much to me. You are my hero Daddy and I will always always be your little girl.
I love you so very very much,
Margaret aka Mugs
And from my Son-in law
Dear Mr. B,
I really look up to you as an example of a great father. You are very loving and caring for your children and grandchildren. The boys both adore you and love it when you come over. Also, as a Catholic, you are teaching the boys what faith can do for them and leading them in the right spiritual direction. I know that with your help, they will grow up into thoughtful and caring young men. Thank you for everything you have done for us and for everything that you will do. We are all greatful to have you in our lives.
I love you,
As I sat in the vestibule of the church and for whatever reason, I’d already read the many letters from other parishioners and friends, I came across these letters at the end of my reading. You can imagine how I looked, squeezed in a corner, behind a pillar crying my eyes out as parishioners would occasionally come out of the mass that was going on.
I share these personal letters for one reason and one reason alone. Dad’s are important and they truly have an impact on their children. So please, never give up, I’m sure the sentiment shown in these letters mirror the sentiment of countless children.
God bless you all.