Letter to Dad: Why Do We Wait Until It’s Too Late?

Written by Carol-Ann Hamilton on July 9, 2012

Carol-Ann Hamilton and her father

Though the premise of this website is, “If I had five more minutes to spend with a departed loved one,” I did take the opportunity to recently write and mail a three-page letter to my declining 89-year-old father to express what we have meant to one another across the years.

This, so as to not leave regrets over what should have been said before he passes.

Why do we wait until it’s too late? While deeply personal, I hope my heart-felt outpouring brings memories for others.

Excerpted, here is my Top-10 List, based on five decades-plus as my parents’ only child.

1. I profoundly internalize that you and Mommy wanted me. Many unfortunate children cannot say they were cherished by their parents as I was. It is clear you both loved me right from birth.

2. Despite the fact that funds were tight for a number of years, you demonstrated a sense of honour second-to-none in always trying to make things nice. You provided. More than one father shirks his responsibility. Not you!

3. Putting out your back creating my sandbox is forever etched in my consciousness. Remember how often we played Frisbees, shot basketballs, and played baseball catch?

4. The trips we took – big and small – were quite amazing in retrospect. I recently pulled out my old photo albums and relished the pictures, particularly those from eastern Canada and the southern United States.

5. Something I REALLY respect was standing by your hospital bed as you brought yourself back single-handedly from death’s doorstep. The strength and determination that took! You have my un-ending admiration for your sheer grit.

6. I further cannot thank you enough for the turning-point dialogue we shared about the difficult parts of my growing-up years. You took ownership like a man for the damaging impact that anguished time generated. I have long ago realized many of the factors that led up to that despaired period for you and Mommy. I assure you, I am complete with it as you go to your grave. May you be, also.

7. While previously mentioned, it bears repeating that we have performed yeoman’s service together since we lost her in April 2010. For both of us, it may have been one of the most grueling periods during the long life chapter we have been father and daughter. My prayer is that you have benefitted throughout.

8. I most certainly feel that way when I consider the value of what you have contributed to me in thoughtfulness across time. We have frequently kidded I must now owe you something like $1,689,234 when we add up your generosity plus priceless love.

9. Then, we come to the countless conversations in which you have amply demonstrated you “get it.” You have imparted your lessons well. Your stewardship of justice, integrity, principle, courage, and excellence shall reside permanently within me.

10. Last, but not least, I have so often felt SEEN and HEARD by you as the child and woman I Really Am that I have frankly lost count.

To recognize someone in their Essence is quite possibly one of the greatest gifts you can accord.

Whew! What more is there to say?

Not much! I believe I have expressed what is in my deepest core.

So you can to your grave in quietude and rest that you did your very best.

Trust me. I shall voyage well for the long duration of my journey henceforth.

You have left things in my capable hands, and I will attend to everything with fitting aplomb.

I will be more than fine in every possible regard.

All this to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for being my father.

I love you very much, Daddy.

Your ever-lasting daughter,

Carol-Ann Patricia

Editor’s Note: This touching letter was written by Carol-Ann Hamilton, a Principal at Spirit Unlimited & Changing Leadership in Toronto. Carol-Ann is the author of or contributor to six leadership, entrepreneurial, and self-help books. Her seventh book, “Coping with Un-cope-able Parents: LOVING ACTION for Eldercare will be published later on this year.

More stories from: Featured Story,With My Dad,With You

Memory of Mom (MoM) – Video Entry by Life Coach Allana Pratt

Written by Allana Pratt on May 8, 2012

In this moving video, family and relationship expert Allana Pratt shares an actual five minutes thanking her mother, reminiscing about her, and wishing she were still here to meet Allana’s son, Gabriel.

Allana is a multi-talented, renaissance woman. For two years she hosted a #1-rated radio show called How Mama Got Her Groove Back. Now she hosts a weekly live webcast on MingleMediaTV.com, empowering women’s (and a few men’s) authentic sensuality.

She’s a regular TV and radio expert on CBS and FOX News, a published author with her story, “Thank God I am a Single Motherless Mom,” and has produced an internationally selling eBook/audio book set called, “How To Be And Stay Sexy~ Attracting The Love And Attention You Deserve Being Exactly Who You Are.”

Her next book is being edited. Entitled, “The Missing Handbook to Motherhood,” she says, “It’s not about getting your groove back, it’s about birthing a whole new delicious you!”

In her work as a professional speaker, Allana coaches an exclusive base of international clients in groups, privately, and in full-day intensives. Her vibrant, heartfelt message empowers women and moms to cultivate their confidence and inner radiance at the website Redefining Sexuality and men to be confident and noble at the website Get Her To Say Yes.

Memory of Mom: You Are My Hero!

Written by Lynn Banis on May 8, 2012

Lynn Banis and her mother

This Memory of Mom (MoM) comes from Lynn Banis, who works as a life coach in Illinois. She told me, “Memories of my Mom mean everything to me. I would love to have others know a little of her incredible self.”

Thank you for sending your story, Lynn!

What can I say to you that has not been said, felt, cried about, clung to? I can only say again and again how much I love you.

You gave us–Rich, Bruce and me–a safe but challenging place to live and grow.

You encouraged us to pursue education and become our own persons.

You were always there with practical wisdom to help us on our way.

Your steadfast encouragement lifted us up and kept us going when the going got rough. And it did get rough.

We always knew you were there, though.

I have to laugh about the time you recognized I was not comfortable standing my own ground with my high-school peers. You said to tell them your mom wouldn’t let you–you were happy to be the scapegoat until I could grow into my own sense of self.

I have to admit, it worked so well for me I said it to my teens, too, if they needed it!

I want you to know how proud I am to be your daughter.

You were so active, inquisitive, and courageous during your youth. Who would dive off the 25-foot tower into the Lagoon at the Chicago World’s Fair but you?

You did some amazing things when you were young, and really made a name for yourself yet you never flaunted that.

Through your actions you taught us to be humble and not to expect the world to hand us anything.

We knew we had to work, and work hard to get where we wanted to be.

You are my hero. I don’t know anything that is better than that!