I drove to the laundromat to do my wash this past Sunday. I went inside, put my clothes in the washing machine, and went back to my car to read. I checked the time and returned to the laundromat to put my clothes in the dryer. I walked outside to get some fresh air and went down to see if the deli is open to get something to eat. I decided to head back to the laundromat to check on my clothes. I waited for my clothes to dry and then took them out so I can fold them on the table. I put them in two garbage bags and walked up to my car. I put them in the back trunk. I got in the car when I noticed a folded looseleaf note under the windshield wiper. I got out of my car and grabbed the note. I opened the note and this is what it said:“YOU ARE AN UGLY, IGNORANT BITCH.”
First, I was numb as I read the note. Second, I was confused. What was this note all about? Who left such a hateful, nasty message on my windshield? Did I miss something in the laundromat? I didn’t cross any words with anyone inside or outside. If I did something to anyone, I would have diffused the fire by apologizing. Can anyone try to help me understand what this note was all about? ThanksShare Your Thoughts 
The saddest thing I own, in both material and immaterial is a card my friend from pre-school (now my all time best friend) gave me on my eighth birthday. It means a lot to me, as his father now travels a lot with his job, and I nigh upon ever, get to see him. When we do get back together we have the best time, sometimes I am just overcome with joy.
I only found it the other day, as I was rifling through some drawers that I haven’t properly cleaned out in years. It was inside one of my schoolbooks from primary school.
It makes me sad however, as I am reminiscent of the past, I think of the fact I didn’t know I would be his friend all these years later (yep double, I’m now 16). All he wrote on it, as 8 year old’s do, was “Dear Angus” then the pre-written greeting “Birthdays can be special fun, Hope your day’s a happy one!”, Followed by “happy birthday from James!”Share Your Thoughts
On June 17 1988, I had my 14th birthday and buried my childhood along with my 46 year old father who had died of colon cancer 3 days earlier. About the only thing I recall from this time was trying to forget, never understanding that it was not something I would ever forget, if I was lucky, it would be something I learned to deal with and move on.
It was not until I married and gave birth to my own child that the memories of that time came flooding back and had no where to escape. I seemed to remember with vivid detail his illness, his death, his funeral and I discovered that I was not sad, I was angry. Surely everyone knew he would die. And yet I lived in a child’s all consuming belief and hope that he would get better. I believed until the last, that he would not die. I felt cheated, horribly cheated of the chance to say all I wished to say to him. I felt cheated that he said nothing to me. I was angry that the only place he could come to me was in my dreams. My husband had no idea what to say to me and my child seemed another reminder of what death had cheated my father of.
I sat one morning at our dining room table and thought of Doctor Godwin. I had gone to school with his daughter and my father considered him a friend, not just a doctor. He must have known that my fathers illness was terminal. Why had he not stressed to my parents to tell us this. Surely they never told my father he was going to die or he would have said something more to me. He would have left me with more than his anguished cries. I went to my desk and removed some stationary and began to write. I asked hard questions. I wanted to know from beginning to end what happened to my father and I wanted to know what he knew, when he knew it and I wanted an answer as to why 4 children were just left to figure it out years later. Who made the choice to let a child’s naive manner of thinking of such things, sustain her until the truth became obvious. I wrote an equally harsh letter to the pastor of our former church. My father had given so much to that church and was one of the few people I have to this day, ever seen that truly attempted to live what he professed to believe. I was still a member of that congregation though out of state and I wanted my name taken from their membership roster. The word “god” now stuck on my tongue and refused to leave my mouth. There was no god. There never was any god. They may have sucked my father into that belief system but I was smarter.
I never expected replies to my letters which I sent and in some strange manner, made me start to feel better enough to deal with what had been buried for years. When the letter arrived at my home, I tore into it with an almost cat that got the canary grin. There was nothing that anyone could say to me to change my mind that I had been wronged.
I read the words that Dr Godwin had carefully put together. It was two type written sheets of paper on his business stationary and I was not prepared for the truth they contained nor the way that that truth would make me feel to this day.
He said that my father knew he was going to die as soon as he had come from surgery and met with his doctors. He said that my father expressed not a single care for himself but a deep love and longing for his children and wanting very much to see them grow up. He understood my anger far better than I did at the time and gently reminded me that I was loved very much and that it was that love that kept words like death and dying from my ears. No one meant to cheat me of anything and the choice to not make his children forcefully aware of what was to come was done in love and not in any attempt to rob the very people he loved most of anything that was rightfully theirs.
He reminded me of the good fortune that I had to be the daughter of such a man. He reminded me that the person my father was would not put undue burden upon his children. He reminded me that a truth I could begin to absorb years later was not a truth I could have easily absorbed at the time. He begged me to find peace in the suffering that had ended and in the joy of positive memories.
With time, I have started the process of long overdue grieving and a search for peace. The saddest thing I own is this letter from Dr. Godwin which I take out and read very rarely but would never ever think to discard. It contains the truth of my shattered childhood and the truth of a man that loved me more than he loved life. The words bring tears to my eyes whenever I read them. They are not only the truth of his death, they are the truth of my life. There is no one to blame, I was cheated of nothing, and the choice of what to say to soon to be orphaned children rested with their dying father.
People get sick and people die. No amount of love in the world prevents it. If love had been any sort of prevention, he would never have become sick. Just because the unthinkable happens, it does not lessen the love. These are things I know …. and yet years later when my father misses yet another important event in my life…. I must take out the letter and read it again to prevent myself from starting the search for someone or something to blame again. Does anyone truly die that is not forgotten? I will never forget so maybe he will never truly die, at least not in my lifetime.
Tags: cancer, death, father, letter