Dear Dad,

When I look back through the years, I look with longing and sorrow. I see my reflection in the mirror and I get a glimpse of you, even more so in my son Zachariah. Please don't take my sorrow wrong, I am not mad at you, nor is my sadness because you are gone. My sadness comes from never getting a chance to know you. My sorrow is because I was not allowed enough time to show you what you meant to me.

I asked as many questions as I could, to whomever would answer me. I have always been curious about who you were, what you liked to do and why you decided your time here was done. My mom and grandma answered a few questions, I was too young when last I saw your mom, grandma Eva, to really know what to ask. I did like playing jacks on the kitchen floor while she cooked chicken and dumplings. I also liked walking in her backyard amongst the many rose bushes, I've never again smelled such a beautiful scent.

My grandmother once told me that you would come to their house at the end of the of the cul-de-sac to see my mom. That you loved my grandma's chicken salad and that she would make you sandwiches. She said you loved my mom and that you never really got over your dad's suicide.

Mom told me how you loved to hang out with your friends and go cruising. She told me that you played the saxophone and took it with you nearly everywhere you went. Mom told me about how she would mail fake letters in the mailbox next to your house at the top of the cul-de-sac just to get a glimpse at you or better yet, run into you. She told me that you worshiped me, that I was the apple of your eye. Mom said when you came home from work I would run to you and that while she finished supper, you would play with me and throw me into the air. She said that you would talk to me and that you always had a smile for me, your sweet pea.

As you can imagine, after you died, both families were mourning your passing. I was told that there was blame and anger. There are differing stories about the day you died, but the only thing that matters is that you were here for a time and in that time you made me. Thank you for thinking to write me a letter, not a lot of people, in that state of mind, would think to write a letter to a 14 month old. I still have the letter and read it from time to time. I took care of mom the best that I could, but her wounds were deeper than a child could ever mend. I hope the two of you are together, it's nice to think that you are and that you are watching over me.

I didn't get to know your brothers, their families or grandma Eva much as I grew, but I did get some time with them and through those visits I got to know you more. You were an incredible man and did so much in your 23 years, I am proud that you are my dad.

I wish a lot of things in life were different and that I could rewind to the time when we were all together here on earth. I wish things could have progressed from there to here in a more natural way. I won't lie there have been more than my share of times that I could have used you here with me, but again, I am not mad. Suicide doesn't anger me as it does some, I can see where such desperation grows. I don't condone it, but don't feel its a place for anger to build strength.

I love you, dad, your Sweet Pea!