Our daughters were 4, 5, and 7 when you were first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2009. Although the initial prognosis was measured in months, I told you that you had to give us 10 years because the girls would be better people if you raised them. In the 9 years and 2 months that followed, you continued to form them into phenomenal, kind, witty, intelligent, adventurous, socially aware, fierce young women. You planted and nurtured seeds that have taken root and are blooming in beautiful ways. Genet is developing grit and determination to accompany her generosity and tenderness. With her huge heart, Amara is seeking ways to transform her compassion and outrage into socially conscious action. At Carrie’s commencement yesterday, she was honored with the highest prize awarded at her high school in recognition of her extraordinary character, spirit, and vision. I see your fingerprints so clearly on each of them. I am beyond grateful for the time they had with you and for the perspective about life, family, and purpose that you instilled in them…but 10 years wasn’t enough.
We ache for want of you here in the flesh--to feel your warm hug and hear your cheerful voice. We hunger for your insight and wisdom as we process and protest the injustices directed toward people who look like our daughters. We crave your bright smile and your jovial laugh as we enjoy time together (our Nerf Gun Battle Royale would have been even more fun with you…we made it 18 years without toy guns, but these are desperate quaran-times). Each day we think of you, and we regularly talk about you and to you (and I have no doubt you were behind the requests for the Star Wars and Marvel Comics movie marathons). I know you’re still here because you love us too much to not be, but sometimes you feel so far away. We need you and your celestial friends to help us as we continue to learn to recognize you and feel your presence. As I told you when you died a year and a half ago, we need you now more than ever. Life is richer and sweeter, and we are better people, with you here. Your important work is not finished…you have to give us another 10 years.
Happy Father’s Day, my dear one.