I love That Family's 'Fro Me to You series. It is always a great time for me to look back at old pictures and remember, not just the great hair, but the memories that went with it.
This picture is of my dad and I. Very cute redheads don't you think? I guess that is where my dad got the nickname "Rusty". We haven't always had the best relationship. I lived with my mom and saw him on the occasional weekend and holidays. I knew he loved me and I adored him. I remember sitting outside my house waiting, watching, for him to turn onto our road to pick me up. I am not sure if he ever had to come to the door. I was always so eager to be ready when he arrived.
When I moved to the NW for high school it made it more difficult to stay connected. As I grew older, I began to realize what I had missed by not having him as a constant presence in my life. The spring of my senior year we found out he had cancer. Cancer that had been misdiagnosed a year before and had now spread throughout much of his body. It was a turning point. Within the next 2 1/2 years before he died both he and I changed. I withdrew, he got sicker. I became a Christian and tried to explain myself. He died, I thought I failed him.
8 years later, bringing my son to meet my dad's family, my stepmom gave me this letter.
It is wrinkled, tattered, and stained. Lost underneath a mug or stack of papers until God's perfect timing - the time when I missed him the most. The time when I wish he could meet his first grandson. The words were a balm to my soul. The handwriting is shaky and since he died only 2 weeks before my wedding, it must have been near the end when it was penned. It is from his own hand and somehow has brought a measure of healing to my heart. He really did just want the best for me.