Hi Dad,

I hope that wherever you are, you’re in a better place.

Although there’s not a single day that goes by when I don’t miss you, today’s been all the more difficult.

I was rummaging through your belongings today, something I haven’t done in a very long time, and while doing so, I found a picture of you. It was taken on my first day at school. You were holding me in your arms and had a huge smile on your face.

That picture invoked in me so many emotions that I cannot simply put into words. Even though I’ve seen that picture many times before, this time I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.

Even though it’s been eighteen years since you've left us, the pain of not having you around never goes away. I can trade anything in my life to have you by my side again.

I still remember that fateful day like it was yesterday. The year that followed was worse. I was irrational and felt angry all the time.

Your last words playing on a loop in my mind, “I need to see you grow up and have to be there to torture all those guys you’re going to date your little sister.” Even on your last day, your sense of humor was intact.

I know just how badly you wanted to keep your word of never leaving us alone, but your body was just incapable of doing so.

I’m sorry for all the times I’ve fought with you and said things that I didn’t mean. Looking back, I know now, how important it is to let our loved ones know how precious they are.

Now I can only hope you knew just how much you meant to us. All my successes look dull because you’re not there to be a part of my happiness.

All that I am today is all because of the values you've inculcated in me, dad. I wish you could witness what your little boy has now become a man who strives to be as good as you were.

And although I know you’re smiling down at me, the fact that I can't smile back, pains me a lot. And while I wish I could see your face one last time dad, I know you are in a better place.

With love, forever yours.