My late father wrote me this letter when I was in my late teens, and as much as I hear his voice, I also hear yours, as we often listened to you together:
To my wonderful daughter:
There are so many things a father feels when a child springs the nest, but putting those feelings into words is impossible for some of us. I should say things like “work hard,” but you’ve already proven you can and do. I could say “keep your nose clean,” or “stay out of trouble,” but you have, and you know right from wrong. Or how about “study hard,” “don’t drink and drive,” “a man will say anything to get you into bed, but won’t remember your name,” “save your money,” and more. But I will say this: 1. take risks and make mistakes! Don’t be afraid! Most successful people failed at some point (and some several times). Learn from those mistakes, and move on. 2. Call your mom. 3. Always know we love you and will support you. Shucks, I can’t even say “make us proud,” because you already have.
Love always, Dad.
Losing my father was the most difficult thing I have faced. I’m 39, and I’ve learned that between now and dead, any decision I make better make not only my dad proud, but also you, Dr. Laura, as they go hand in hand.
I Want To Make My Dad (And You) Proud