It's me, Joanna. I don't really know how to start this off. For a self-acclaimed "Awesome-letter-writer", I never know how to start. Can I just say that I miss you? That it's been 16 hours and your absence has cut us all open like the sharpest knife. I think I am coping the best, out of the four ladies in the Kennedy family. I accpeted this moment a while back. I knew, from the moment you were admitted into the ICU, that I had to brace myself for the worst. And I did, and my face is not as tear-streaked as those of my sisters. It's really hard seeing them so devastated,dad. I know that you do not want them to hurt so badly, but they do. We all do. We love you so much, that the thought of never seeing you again is too much to bear.
I was doing fine sniffling away at the memories we shared. Things like looking through your astrophotography and promising to make it my desktop background (which I swear I will do now), or watching Chelsea on the telly. But then Jayne mentioned that it's not yesterday that's making her sad, it's what will never happen tomorrow. Then the imaginary scenarios started playing out in my head.
I will never get to introduce a boy to you as my boyfriend. No guy I will ever date will have the pleasure of being intimidated by my scary dad.
You will not be there at my graduation. In the sea of faces, I will search endlessly but never come across yours.
I won't be able to phone you when I get my first job, to listen to your complaints about the crappy salary and the ridiculous hours.
You won't be there to give me away at my wedding, or Steph's, or Jaynes. That's what really hits home. The fact that you won't see any of your daughters get married.
But it's okay dad, because I had the pleasure of knowing you for 17 years, and in those 17 years you taught me so much. We shared a love for football, and I know how proud you were of me when I told you that I scored the winning penalty at one of my games. I remember how you supported me when I decided to run for the senior council, and how you consoled me when I didn't get in. Most of all, I remember one of my early birthdays when you walked into my bedroom and spoke to me about the importance of identity. "Find out who you are, before it's too late" are the exact words you said, forever etched into my memory.
I want to apologize for all the times I never managed to meet your expectations. Like when I got an 80 in Math and a 93 in CLE and you were really pissed off, you scolded me. I'm sorry that I stopped playing and watching football, and Im sorry that I never told you that I love you enough. I still remember the last time I hugged you. I think it was because you allowed me to go to a friend's party, last November. November, dad. November. And over such a stupid reason.
I'm sorry for last Saturday, dad. I'm truly, truly sorry. I know I kept you up worrying, because I came home later than I said I would. I promised you that I'd call if I ever had any complications ever again. And I will keep that promise. I know now, to be careful for what you wish for, because life does a lot of crazy, unexpected things. I'm sorry that I had to see you how you were, that Monday morning. I often think about how you were on the floor, bloody and naked and how you said "Help me" in a such a slurred, pityful way. I'm sorry if it's because of me that you fell sick, if perhaps I didn't phone mom fast enough, or if you could have been saved if I called an ambulance instead. I wish I hugged you on Sunday when you weren't pissed at me anymore, dad. But I didn't. I'm just thankful that we made amends before Monday came around.
I'm currently looking at the lyrics I painted onto my wall, you didn't notice them but they say "Look at the stars, look how they shine for you" and nothing could be more true. I will wake up to each day being reminded of you by those lyrics. You are where your heart is, dad. I know you're in the stars. I know you're forever with me.
I will see you again one day.