Tonight I cannot sleep.
This weekend my best friend's father was in an accident which almost proved fatal. For several hours it was uncertain if he would survive. Thankfully, he's made incredible progress and he will be returning home tomorrow. Tonight I laid in bed and thought about how it would feel to lose my own father. Sadly, sometimes this is the only way we learn to appreciate something: when it's gone. I couldn't bear to lose my father without letting him know how much I truly appreciate everything he does, so I dedicate this post to him.
It's been quite a year. I moved into my first apartment, had my first real boyfriend, and traveled overseas for the first time. I've changed a lot, but you've supported me through it all. I've grown up since my freshman year of college. I no longer depend on you and Mom to bring me home when I'm homesick. Instead, I call you weeping and beg for advice. You're always right, by the way. You were right about the boys. About how they don't know what they want and I should just focus on my studies for now. Eventually, I'll find the right guy. He'll know just how amazing I am.
You funded my month-long trip to Italy because it was something I had dreamt of doing since I was little. While there, I called you several times a week, even if it meant paying a dollar a minute to share my experiences. I couldn't help but think of you when I visited the Vatican, because you always talk about how you were an altar boy, about wanting to rekindle your Catholic roots. I thought of your Angels & Demons references and took pictures of sights I remembered from the movie. I stood in St. Peter's and wept at its beauty and thought of how you'd probably do the same.
You're always thinking of us, but we never demonstrate our affection. When we complained of being bored at the beach last summer, you planned a nature walk. All we could do was whine about how early it was, but I secretly enjoyed learning about the alligators at Kiawah. I'm like you in that respect. I inherited your love of learning.
You're always the first person I call when I have good news: when I was invited into Pi Delta Phi, whenever I have a grand new idea (even if it's kind of half-baked), and whenever I get excited about my future plans. You've always shown enthusiasm for whatever I do.
When I said I might want to switch from Literature to International Studies, you supported the idea, even though it meant an extra year's tuition. Whenever I plan some international trip, you're the first person to approve it and send me on my way. If you're wary, it's because you don't trust the crazy people in this world. It's not because of me.
Even when I do really crazy, stupid things (like wreck my car), you forgive me. You say, "It's not because you're a bad driver. It just happens." You're always willing to defend me even when I know I've done something unforgivable and dumb.
Now it's midnight. I hope I have the guts to give this letter to you. I have trouble expressing myself to others, which is why I became a writer. If I do give you this, don't show Mom. She might get jealous.