"I hope to be a dad just like you. Though no fathers are perfect except our heavenly father, you are special in your children's eyes. I've made mistakes along the way. But in the end you have been there for me to find my way back. I hope I have been there to help you find your way when you got lost. Maybe we helped each other with a kind word, a pat on the back, or a shoulder to lean on. You've always been there for me maybe not always physically. But the thought of you as my dad and that you would return was comfort enough. I am your youngest and last child so I see differently than the rest. I try to keep you as you are and not let you age or change. But alas, I cannot. You have had two lives as a father and I understand how that tears at you. Obligations cut short and new ones started in the latter years of your life. I can't recapture any of that for you. But I can give you a granddaughter who loves you tremendously like her dad does. She is a fresh, new life. I hope she carries a little bit of you inside her as I do. I can't be sure she will have clear memories of you. But I will have her spend time with you and someday when the memories aren't so clear I will tell her of you. This is the most important gift I can give you. The gift is the legacy of living on as all of my and my wife's family lives on in my daughter. This is given with all the love God put in my heart."
Lance, Gina, and Autumn
This was written by me in a birthday card to my dad in 1999. It was right after the birth of my first child, Autumn. My last child, Connor, hadn't been born yet. My daughter turned out was old enough to have memories of my dad. She was six years old.
But he didn't live long enough to see her kindergarten graduation. It was only two months away before he passed. She felt he was there, anyways.
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