The most interesting thing happened to me on Friday. I still get chills when I think about it so I decided I should share this one.
It’s Fathers day today and I know many of you have lost your dad’s. So have I. My dad passed away too soon. He was only 70 years old and I hadn’t really had enough time to spend with him. It’s important for you to know this little background before you read the story.
My parents were divorced when I was 18 months old. My mother moved out of state with me for many years to put distance between me and my father. When we returned to Virginia, she made every effort to continue to keep me out of my father’s life. I did not really get to know my dad until I was in my twenties. It was my choice then to reach out an find out just who he was and to get his side of the story. I had a thousand questions for him.
Now why he never tried to get in touch with me in another story all together but that’s not what this story is about. This story is about what amazing things can happen with the powerful love between a father and his daughter.
This is a miracle story to me – in more ways than one. See if you don’t agree once you read it.
A friend of my father’s, called me Friday and said “Cathy, I ran across a letter you wrote your dad for fathers day, years
ago, that he kept and I thought you might like to have it.” It was dropped off at my studio that afternoon and even though I didn’t sit down and read it until later that night I can tell you it had a profound effect on me.
As I unfolded the faded and yellowed sheets of paper, it became obvious to me that my father had taken great care to preserve the letter that I had written to him back in 1979. You could see it had been typed on a dot matrix printer (some of you will know what that is). I could see the tear stains on the paper but I honestly can’t tell you if they were mine or his. It didn’t really matter. I knew in my heart that my words had touched his heart very deeply – otherwise he would not have saved the letter over all these years.
Even though I’d love to share every word with you (not sure you’d want to read it all) I’ve decided to share just a small part of what was in the letter…
When I was a little girl living with Mama away from you – I remember when friends would ask me about my father. I remember taking a very deep breath and very proudly telling them about you. It usually went something like this:
My daddy is a very strong and kind and gentle man. He is proud and smart and has a strong sense of family. My daddy, well, you know, he’d move a mountain if it needed to be moved. And he can make the sun shine just by saying it’s so. My daddy doesn’t live in our house. No, he lives in my heart. And whenever I need him I know he cares because I feel it – here in my heart”…
I bet I said those words a thousand times in my youth. I grew up in a time when divorced parents was an oddity not the norm as it seems to be today.
I went on to say “It took me nearly 20 years before I had an opportunity to spend any time with you.
And I am so grateful for the time we have together. My love for you is difficult to express. Even this letter
is hard for me to write. These feelings are very deep within and like most things with deep roots – they are hard to surface but are steadfast and strong. These feelings have weathered many storms, many battles, many doubts. In my lifetime, I have fought many things and many people who have tried to keep you out of my life and I have always prevailed because we have a bond. The bond that only a father and a daughter can know”
The letter goes on from there but just remember, I did not really know my father. I had spent little or no time with him. This was the man I had imagined in my head and in my heart. This was how I dealt with the profound loss I felt by not having him in my life. And it comforted me many times over the years to simply think about what kind of man, I just knew in my heart that he was.
I have recently been dealing with some difficult things and I have been missing my father even more than usual because I knew he would always reach out and help me be strong. He had a way of believing in me that made me rise to the occasion. He truly was my bridge between failure to success many times and I needed him now.
Then what happens?
This letter reappears in my life. As if my dad had a hand in making sure I knew he was with me – even now. It was a voice from the afterlife. A strong and loving voice – encouraging me to continue.
I can hear my fathers voice just as clear as if he were standing before me saying “Cathy, everything’s going to be okay. Remember, we are Markham’s, we are strong and we don’t give up. You can do this babe – you can get through this!”
People ask me all the time what my license plate means (It basically says “I expect it”). I always say it means I expect all things are possible. After receiving this letter (a voice from the past to today) I believe it even more.
Do I believe in miracle’s y’all? Yes in deed I do – they happen every day but often when you least expect them.
Please share this with family and friends.
You never know who it might touch.
You never know who might need to know that our angels are among us and they love us still.
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