I know saying 'I'm sorry" isn't enough. But I want you to know how sorry I am you lost your father. I'm sorry he passed away so suddenly and with so much life left to live. I'm sorry you can't call him to discuss every last detail of the weekends rugby match or cricket scores. I'm sorry he won't be there to watch our children grow up. That you can't call him to brag about our son's pitching arm or our daughter's back hand. That he will miss out on birthdays and holidays and all the ordinary days in between.
You stood up during his funeral to eulogize him and used words like unassuming, passionate, and quiet. You said he never liked being the center of attention. That he never needed to prove himself to anyone. I want you to know how much you are like your father. You are such a humble man. People take you as always agreeable and sometimes without opinion, but that is not at all who you are. You are amenable because you enjoy when others around you are happy. You never ask for the spotlight. You are content to watch as your family bounces loudly off each other, a lightning storm of commotion. You constantly bend without breaking and always put us before yourself. You silently guide us in the right direction without us ever knowing, our North star.
You are empathetic and are the first to take care of us when we are unwell. I remember so vividly when I was in the hospital. I was heavily medicated and drifting in and out of sleep. I told you to go. It was late and you'd been there all day. You hadn't eaten a thing. I was just going to try and sleep, I said, and I had care available should I need it. You promised you would go and I shut my eyes to rest. I woke up three hours later to watch you quietly tiptoe out the door. The next morning I asked why you stayed so long. "I just wanted to make sure you were all right. I wanted to be there in case you needed anything."
That is the kind of man you are.
I hope you know how proud your father was of you. Of the father you've become. You continue to surprise me with your capacity to give. You are the first to bring our kids to the park after a day of back to back meetings. You sit cheering night after night on the sidelines of baseball games. You wake early with our youngest and steal precious minutes before they drift off to sleep to ask about their day. You are naturally generous with you time and affection. You are easy to laugh and want what is best for us without any expectation in return. Do you know how rare that is? I read a quote that said, "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
That is you.
This Father's Day will not be easy, the first of so many "firsts" without him. I hope you take comfort in how much you remind me of him. Even though he is no longer here with us, you are his mirror-of his kindness and generosity of spirit, his selflessness and benevolence. You are a reflection of his love of family. He was so proud of the person you've become. I am so proud to be married to you.