I recently lost my father. We didn’t get along the last year of his life and like so many children of parents
you always think there’s time. There wasn’t. I wrote the following letter to him because we hadn’t talked
in so long I just couldn’t get up the courage to call him. I hear he read it before he died.
Good bye dad and thank you.
I love you.
I want to reach out to you and tell you some things. It’s my hope you will be given this letter and be able
to read it at your convenience.
First, let me say that I am saddened of the news that your health has been poor. I think about you here
in Ireland and while we don’t speak on the phone I often wonder how you are doing. I’m sorry that these
recent months have been so contentious. I wish this were not the case. My heart breaks and that heartbreak
will live inside me forever. But I’d like to share my feelings if that’s okay.
I never had the opportunity to tell you thank you for what you did for me and my mother, Tommy and
Robert. Life was so hard for us before you met my mom. I don’t need to tell you what our situation was
and the impact it had on all of us. When I met you for the first time in that New Milford drug store I knew
who you were instantly. Our eyes met and you seemed like a white knight that was going to rescue us.
For the first time in my life I felt hope and a sense of safety. I felt everything might be okay and that my
mom would have a friend and companion to help and comfort her. I was so grateful.
From that moment things happened very fast. It seemed almost over night we were all living in a big
house in a wealthy community. It was the kind of life I only dreamed of but never thought I would know.
Everything was so exciting and new. You brought to my life happiness and culture. I became a better
person as you exposed me to all the things in life one can hope for from the simple things like how to
hold a fork to shopping for skis and learning about things so foreign to me.
While there were struggles as one might imagine combining two completely different families into one
household, you did your best to help us all get along and be a family. I can’t imagine too many men who
would have taken on such an enormous task. How you did it I will never know. But even at my young
age I knew you were special and what you were doing for us was so generous. The only way I knew to
show my gratitude was to take your last name. I know that decision hurt my father and cost me his love.
However, for me it didn’t matter. Becoming a Dowsett meant the world to me. I wouldn’t to be like you and
be apart of your world. You allowed me to do so and I was so proud of my new name.
As the years past there were so many highs and lows as is the case with many families. All of us were a
handful of problems and I’m sure we aged you both mentally and physically. I’m sorry for the problems I
have caused you. I’m sorry for so many things. I’m sorry for the pain you have endured over the years. I
also want to thank you for being so good to my mother and never letting her be alone. That was always
my greatest fear and I thank you for the role you played as a husband and father.
The things I remember most are our dinners at The Iron Horse where just you and I would sit and chat
about life. I think those were the happiest moments I had with you. Of course our golf days bonded us
later in life and they are memories I will always carry with me. Building the shed in Hillsdale, going on
runs together, our days at the Jersey shore, camping, skiing, the restaurants, holidays, ….so much. Too
much to replay in my mind. Although when I’m laying in bed alone I do think about those memories and
it provides me with comfort.
You are my father. Thank you for all you have ever done for me and while I know sharing these feelings
isn’t always easy I feel it’s important you understand what’s in my heart.
I will always love you and what you have done for me.