When a parent passes it’s natural to think about them from time to time. Tonight was one of those times.
I drove home from a writer’s conference in Saint Louis today. Got home at the stroke of midnight and I looked like I’d been crying. Probably because I’d shed a few tears when this video, Letters From Home, came on my stereo in the trusty Explorer.
My dad passed 5 years ago. He never saw a finished book, not so much as a congratulatory email from a fan of the blog, and certainly never a cover to a novel. And I’m missing him tonight because that’s so close and I won’t be able to share it with him on this earth.
My dad was a man of many accomplishments. I’m pretty sure he had goals for me that I never met. I know he loved me, and I loved him. But there was never that moment where I knew he was 100% proud of something I did. A lot of that was his nature: he was not the effusive type.
Now, with a great conference behind me, a bright future ahead of me, and sequels, prequels, and other books all in the process, I think my dad would be busting his buttons over what “his kid” had done with his life. You can’t live your life for your parents, but when they take joy in your accomplishments it sweetens it for all.
Mom, I know you’re proud. And I love you more than you can ever know. I tease you and joke with you, but I love you and respect your opinion.
Dad, if God posts this on the board up there, I hope you can smile and say, “That’s my son. I knew he’d make it.”
Guess I’ll find out soon enough. But I miss him tonight because I’d love to hear his voice when I tell him all the great things going on in my life. I miss that voice more and more as the years go by.
Parents: don’t wait to tell your kids you’re proud. Do it the moment you are starting to smile. Because that’s when they need it most. And you won’t always be there to write letters from home.
Good night, Dad. I’ll talk to you in a minute in my dreams. Lots to go over tonight and I’m hoping for some insights.