19 years writing to you, and almost managed to escape war times
The 19th letter to my dad
Hey dad, it’s a war out there. Since you’ve been gone we’ve had a pandemic, wars, climate going to hell and all that jazz. I really wish I had nothing more to say to you regarding the state of the world — or if I did, that world peace has been achieved, climate was saved, all diseases have a cure.
I’ve been struggling with what I can write to you this year. Our times together seem so far away, and every day our chats seem to be slipping away from me. I try very hard to lock every memory of you in a small chamber in the back of my head, but I think that’s the wrong place for them. I think they belong in my heart. And if they’re not accurate memories, if they’re fuzzy and unclear as if I’m always looking at them through a dirty window — then so be it. I’d take the warmth over the clarity every day.
I have my wedding this year. Yeah, I know, seemed much more improbable than the war. I have a wedding in the country you always wanted to live in, with the man you always wanted for me, with my mum and my friends close by. I have everyone I love there — and one piece of you in the bridal bouquet.
I’ve been thinking about your absence from this big event quite a lot. How can I not — even the wedding coordinators have a plan for the wedding that includes “Father of the Bride Speech”. Little do they know you’re in a tiny little room, in my heart, looking through the dirty window as well, to see me there, carrying your words onward.
I have a wedding this year, and 19 years of absence to carry with me, and yet… I feel light. I feel ok, I am ok, and I know you somehow always knew that — even if you thought my being ok was conditioned by someone else taking care of me. But, dad, I take care of myself. I am my own person, and I can fight my own battles.
And, most importantly, I can lose them as well. Winning is amazing, but character comes from losing. I lost the most important battle there was, 19 years ago. And I carried on just fine.