My father died 9 years ago, on July 4 2007.
A few weeks before, he came up to Portland for Father's Day. I had taken Anna to a pottery painting place and had her smear paint around a tile for Dad. I don't remember the card I gave him. Given that I had a toddler, it probably wasn't much. But 9 days before he died I received this email form him:
On Jun 25, 2007, at 8:00 PM, Steven Rappaport
I forgot to comment on one of the things you said on my Father's Day card: "We're really lucky to have this time together."
I just want to agree, in spades, that we are REALLY lucky to have this time together -- because of Anna's majorly sweet age, because of the quality of our relationship, and because we both know that these opportunities won't last forever. One day they will be sweet memories, but for now they are reality, and it's great that we both appreciate that in real time.
I love you, daughter.
Be generous with your love. Remember that our time here is not guaranteed. The biggest gift my father gave me was letting me know that he knew how much I loved him before he died.
I love you, Dad.
Steven Millman Rappaport
Dec 5, 1942 — July 4, 2007