Mary, Sarah, John—Disney World 1995

Dear Sarah


I'm sorry I wasn't there for you that night—I know I promised I always would be, no matter what. Ever since the day you were born 21 years ago and I ran around telling everyone that you really were a beautiful baby I have tried to be a good father.

I'm so sorry that sometimes I came up short, and that I let you down or disappointed you. Thank you for never pointing it out. Thank you for letting me believe that you believed I was the smartest and best Dad in the world. Thank you for all the times you came home and found me in front of the TV and you came over to me and took my hand and gently rubbed the back of it with your thumb, and told me about your day or told me what was on your mind. Thank you for the gift of all of your friends. They are a great comfort to your mother and I. Thank you for the Falcon Award. Thank you for the Honor Society. Thank you for Orchestra. Thank you for fried rice. Thank you for jalapenos with cream cheese and cheddar. Thank you for pretending to like oysters.

I will remember many things you said or did until the day I die. Like the time I told you that you could go to school at Harvard in Boston and you replied, "Will Mom be there?" Like the time I was channel surfing and came across the Spanish channel and I asked you, a fresh Spanish student, what they were talking about. After listening for a few moments you said, "Well, one thing is for sure. They're not talking about school supplies!" I remember how excited and happy you were when you got your car and how scared your mother and I were at the same time. I remember how mad I got when I punched a hole in a stereo speaker while installing it in the car, and how you laughed and made me laugh. I remember you and Liz making a banner, bringing it to John's high school baseball game and doing a chant for him. He was the only bench-warmer with his own cheering section. I remember how proud Mary was to be one of the "group" when you and your friends allowed her to tag along. I'll never forget all the Friday afternoons that you worked with me at the store, each and every minute was truly "quality time." I remember late nights struggling through physics with you, relearning statistics and proof-reading countless papers.

Thank you Sarah, for 20 years of love and joy, and a lifetime of memories. And now Sarah, it is your turn to be there for your mother and I as we struggle to bring meaning to your death. Sleep tight, Roo. Don't let the bedbugs bite.


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