Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Love Letters From My Father


Dad with Baby mk and me (2)

 That’s me on the right, just in case you couldn’t tell.

After my father died, I found letters he’d written to me over the years and saved, like a journal, hidden in the old cabinet he used as an end table next to his recliner. I’m still processing the content of these letters. One of them is about why he didn’t come to my rescue when I wanted to come home from the college in the mountains.

This excerpt from my work in progress explains:

On my second day in Boone, before classes started, my roommate and I went to a pub not far from campus. I recognized Chris, a super brainy girl from my high school who’d already been at the college for a year. She waved to me and invited us to sit with her. My roommate saw some people she knew and went to sit with them. Chris made me feel welcome, and I started to feel comfortable with her. Maybe the beer helped. She asked me how I was doing.

“Well, I’m a little nervous,” I admitted.

“That’s normal. It’ll get better.”

“And I miss my boyfriend. I’m actually thinking of going back home.”

Chris looked thoughtful. “You know, you’ve got your whole life to go to college,” she said. “If you want to go home, it’s okay. It’s your decision.”

I was surprised by her response. I’d expected her to encourage me to stay. If this brainiac said it was okay to go home, then who was I to fight it any longer?

I called my parents and said I wanted to come home. Having just driven seven hours each way to bring me there a couple of days earlier, Dad refused to come get me. He didn’t say much, leading me to guess he was disgusted or at least disappointed.

Being stubborn, I managed to find another way home, but that’s another part of the story.

Fast forward to 43 years later when I read my Dad’s secret letters last week. One his letters revealed that the reason they didn’t come get me was because their old station wagon had a blow out on their trip home and left him “without a spare.” He wrote in Jan 2011: “Money was very short and, we had very little in the bank, and almost nothing on hand. I would have to have gotten permission from work…We also thought about what you were giving up….I have to admit my love for you was and still is a factor. After we made our decision not to come up, we went to bed, but I don’t think either one of us slept that night. The decision bothered us for years and we talked about it for even more years, even after you were married….I still felt guilty.”

I had no idea that money was a problem back then! I figured it was all about not wanting to bail me out when I should have stayed. I thought it was just because he was mad at me. I’ve carried that shame for years. And all this time, HE felt guilty for not coming to get me. I knew my parents loved me, but I didn’t know how much until I read these letters full of love.

Ive always wanted my father to be proud of me, even when I resented him. Even when I didn’t like his conservative beliefs. Even when I avoided him. I still, deep down, wanted him to be proud of me.

And what I’m finding out from his secret love letters is that he was.

love letters from dad (2)

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Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

28 thoughts on “Love Letters From My Father

  1. What a beautiful thing, to have such letter in existence and then to get to read them! 🙂

  2. Your father was a dear man.

  3. And you were not supposed to find out until you did, curious how those things happen

  4. How beautiful. Treasure these letters always.

  5. What an incredible gift for you, dear JoAnna!! I can only imagine how powerful the love you feel emanating from these letters. I am so happy for you. And these letters prove a point that has been very upfront for me lately…that you never know what is going on in another’s life and to judge them like we do know is a huge mistake. Much love my friend. Take your time digesting this information. ♡♡

  6. That’s just so very cool and sweet. I would love to have found such treasures! Enjoy! 🙂 ❤

  7. Truely a blessing and a treasure. God has a way of letting the sun burst through the clouds at the right time, not a millisecond sooner or later. How fortunate are you to get such clarity as to how much the father who loved you really did.

  8. You could probably compile them all and publish a book. How wonderful.

  9. What a lovely treasure to you! A rare treat I am sure since not many men will put those thoughts in writing. My daddy was a blessing to me in almost every way, but he would never have written a letter. Mom always did that. God must have prepared him for your blessing in the future.

    • God sure did a lot of work with my dad and had good material to work with, too. Mom wrote most of the letters before she died, then Dad took over. Thank you for honoring him.

  10. There is no way to quantify the emotions you must carry going through these letters. Cherish them and you are so lucky to have these!!

    • Thank you, Praj. You’re right about no way to quantify. I will cherish them forever. You know, there’s something about putting things in writing. 😉

  11. Very happy that you got to see the full circle on this. Very lovey thoughtful post.

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