Dear Dad

Derek Ouellette —  June 16, 2012

Dear dad,

I miss you. A lot has changed since you’ve been gone. I almost don’t even know where to begin. I know how much you loved action movies. The Avengers came out recently. It was the best. I wish we could have gone to see it together. I also remember how much you loved technology. You always wanted the latest gadget. You’d love my iPad. You wouldn’t believe the things you could do with it. It’s amazing. I wish I could show you.

Everybody here is doing pretty good. But after you left the family fractured some. It could just be a coincidence, but I hardly see Ryan and Danielle anymore. Joe didn’t even come to Christmas and I’ve only been able to connect with mom a hand full of times since then.

Grandma had a cancer scare recently. But the doctors say the tumours in her lungs are all gone. Aunt Barb met a guy. He’s pretty cool and he fits in the family well. From what I could tell, uncle Mike is going good too. It was nice to see them at Christmas. I missed them.

Ryan is doing a good job of keeping up your Facebook page. Better than the rest of us. I wish I had more pictures of you to post there. Joe and Danielle are doing alright. They have a little girl now. Her name is Zoey. She’s adorable.

After you left I think Katlynn took it the hardest. She did some pretty bad things. Then she met this guy named Kyle. He’s a good guy. He reminds everyone of you, actually. You’d like him. Anyways. She got pregnant. The baby looks a lot like you. Aiden. That’s his name. Katlynn was just about her mom’s age when her mom gave birth to her before she abandoned her. And guess what? Katlynn is the best mom. She grew up real fast and determined not to abandon her baby the way she was abandoned. She’s also finishing high school. Kyle too. He grew up quick and is shaping up into a determined dad and a responsible adult.

And then there’s mom. I know how angry you were with yourself. You hated that you couldn’t afford to buy her even the smallest gifts for Valentine’s day or her birthday. But all she wanted was for you to love her. Thats it. I know you tried hard in your own way. I’m glad things were getting better before you left us. It was hard for her when you left.

Anyways. She met a man. His name is Mike, like your brother. He’s a good guy. I like him. He makes mom real happy. I haven’t see her this happy in forever. Under any other circumstances you and Mike would be real good friends. I tell you this to tell you that today they’re getting married. Mom and Mike. He’s no replacement of you. Nothing could ever replace you. I miss you so much. I know mom still misses you too. Can you keep a secret? When she walks down the aisle today she said she’s going to be wearing your cross around her neck. That’s gotta mean something, right?

Sassy died last year. Thanks for taking care of her when I went out West. I know you two became really close. It killed me to have to put her down. I cried so hard. But when she lost the use of her back legs there was no other option. Could you see me hold her, sobbing quietly as they injected something into her? I heard her give a short whimper, and than nothing. It was always your job to bring our beloved pets to their final visit to the vet. I wish you were here for that. I could have used your strength.

Today at mom’s wedding she asked me if I could operate one of the barbecue’s. It’s an outdoor wedding. I said I would. Then you know what she did? She pulled out this giant clean barbecue apron and said, “I washed this for you, if you want to wear it. You can have it.” It was your barbecue apron, dad. I tried it on. It looks ridiculous on me. It’s too big. You were a lot bigger than I am. I don’t care, though, how silly I look. I’m going to wear it anyways.

I miss you so much. You’d be proud of me. Just the other day a man I never met before came into Cameron’s and said to me, “Are you Derek? I knew your father. We were in small group together.” I wanted to cry. You told so many people about me. People I’ve never met. Those type of encounters have happened many times over the past few years.

You where proud of my choice of a wife. You loved Yecenia and told all of your friends how beautiful my wife is. We just bought our first house. Yeci and I. I wish you where here to help us move in like you did when we rented our first apartment. I have a flatscreen that is going to hang on the wall. You’d love it. It has many spare bedrooms. If you were here we’d love to have you stay over. You wouldn’t have to sleep on the couch any more.

I think about you all of the time. I love you. I just wanted to write this letter to tell you that everything is working out okay.

Happy Father’s Day, dad.

Love Derek,
June 16, 2012

P.S. I don’t remember if I ever said “thanks” for teaching me how to tie a tie when I was young. So in case I didn’t, thank you! I tie the best neck ties around, and it’s all because of you. :)

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.