Daddy’s Girl: A Letter to my Dad

by The Kay Way on February 5, 2009

in My Life,Uncategorized

My Dad and Mum emigrated from Scotland in 1949 and 1950 respectively.   My Father was a product of his time and origin.  His Father died early and his Mother opened a boarding house in order to provide for him and his brother. British folks don’t express their feelings easily. He was a 1950’s Dad.  He recommended that my sister and I become plumbers because this is a trade that is always needed.  Not sure if he was joking….  Here’s my letter to my Dad.

Dear Daddy,

Well this has been a long time coming but I’m ready to write this letter to you now that you’ve been gone for six years and I’ve had time to reflect.

For a long time after Mum died, I thought I was more like her because I saw your tough guy attitude as being distasteful and that her softer side was more desirable.  In a 15 year old’s mind, I thought you could have stopped my Mother from drinking herself to death.  Instead you were off playing tennis and curling and bringing home the bacon.  A long time ago I realized that no one can make someone stop drinking.  Support is important but at the end of the day, it is a choice.  You were just doing your best. Support for addiction in 1970 was virtually non-existent.

What I have learned is I am much like you.  You taught me how to be a business “man”. You instilled in me a self confidence that if I was prepared to work hard enough for something, likelihood I would be successful.   This is no small thing.

What I’ve realized since you died is that you were there for me.  When I was a teenager and you trusted me to do the right thing, when you fought to ensure I get my place on the Quebec badminton team that I had earned, when you made sure we had an opportunity to buy your house and you let us live there for free for a year, when I got divorced and you came up to see if I had what I needed to take care of the boys and when you paid off my car.

I am much more liberal than you and we did not share political views.  You believed that you ate what you kill.  I have said that if we weren’t Father and Daughter, we probably wouldn’t have been friends.  But we weren’t friends; you were my parent.  I had a much easier upbringing and you gave me that and I am grateful.

You taught me not to spend money I don’t have, I’ve always kept to that rule.  It has served me well.  We always had a good home to live in, nice vacations, happy Christmas’s, and everything we needed and most of what we wanted.

You were not a perfect parent and neither am I. My children are much more appreciative than I was.   I am thankful that I was wanted and loved. You were always so proud of our accomplishments and how I parented my boys.

So let me thank you for all you did for me and for those who think it’s too late to acknowledge their parents, it’s never too late.

I am still Daddy’s girl and proud of it.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Doris 02.05.09 at 7:47 pm

Hi Kay,
I can relate to your story. I too, had a Mother who drank too much and subsequently drank herself to death. I felt guilty for years afterwards, thinking that I could have stopped her from dying. But I later realized that I couldn’t do anything if she didn’t want to change.
I believe that I was the apple of my Dad’s eye! He had nicknames for me that always remind me of him. I think Dads are special to their daughters. I know that my girls adore their father and have a special relationship with them that I don’t exactly have. But then again, I have just as much a special relationship with them too.
Take care and see you soon.

TheKayWay 02.08.09 at 5:38 pm

Thanks for sharing Doris. A lot of people had/have alcoholic parents.
I wanted to guarantee my children would not experience that.
Of course, they experienced other things like divorce. There are no perfect childhoods. Parents for the most part do their best.
These challenges do shape their characters. I grew up very fast.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" 03.12.09 at 6:08 pm

I enjoyed reading your letter to your dad and see your have a lot of content here that interests me so I’m adding you to my favorites. I learned a lot from my dad too and am like him in many ways.

Kim Harris 02.21.11 at 4:43 pm

I really enjoyed reading this. You made me think about the good things I can be thankful for with my Dad. Sometimes we tend to overlook those things. Especially if our childhood wasn’t so good. But I guess we all learn something of value from each parent. My Dad had his issues. Yet, I can say that I’ve gotten my organization skills from him (he’s top notch orderly, for a man).

thekayway 02.25.11 at 7:25 pm

Kim, our perspective tends to change once our parents are gone. Not sure which is most valid but like most things our perceptive is our reality even if it’s changed. I’m glad you can see the good things about your Dad, that’s a healthy attitude. Parents are just people after all.

Priyesha 08.22.11 at 10:09 am

Thank you for sharing this letter. I wish I could write letters to my dad.
I lost him when I was 11. I wasn’t there with him so I don’t believe he is gone, it has been 13 years now and its still hard to believe. I wrote this for him last year

I lost you to the mist of a thundercloud
When I thought it was over
the nightmare really had begun

They said you returned to the gods
that you became one of the branches in
the wisdom tree where the ancestors meet
that you are now what runs in the holy river

Is it true that grief turns absence into presence?

You did come back to me
disguised as the gentle morning light
as the night wearing a cloak of stars

I thought I lost you to the mist of a thundercloud
And they still say you returned to the gods

© Priyesha K. Nair

thekayway 08.29.11 at 5:35 pm


That is a lovely poem. You say you can’t write to your Dad but you do with your poetry. We all express ourselves in different ways. It is very hard to lose a parent at such a young age, I can relate. Please try to come to terms with the loss because I’m sure your Dad wouldn’t want you to suffer or negatively affect your life. We all have our journey to follow. Good luck.

lucy sonniah 09.07.11 at 10:23 am

hey,I wish I could write letters to my dad.but he neglected us, it has been 25 years now and its still hard to believe. I wrote this for him this year ope wherever he is all the best in life

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