For my father, Captain Russell H. Kesselman, U.S. Air Force, 1927 – 2009.
The loss and sorrow does not diminish. I think of my father every single day. I miss him so much. I wish I would have been a better daughter.
My father was not always tactful. He could say hurtful things, carelessly. He was often unhappy, moody. Yet he was absolutely consistent about this: When I was unsure about myself, he always told me that he believed in my ability to accomplish things. It never felt like reassurance, but rather, certainty. If I could, I would say,
“You were a good parent! I was so fortunate, yet never realized that. Thank you for constantly encouraging me. You never led me to doubt myself. I am so proud that you were my father. You worked for 50 years, helping people, working for the Veteran’s Administration as a cardiologist, going on house calls for your elderly patients even though you were 75 years old yourself. I love you, Father.”
I can’t though. My father is gone from this world.
Don’t be like me. Tell your parents that you love them, now, while you can. Don’t be obstinate (as I often was), particularly if there is no good reason for it.
Don’t do what I did, and feel such regret, more than I have words to describe.