The Unwritten Letters To Dad

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jocelyn "Jocie" Walker, a young teen has lost her father due to an illness. Shortly before his death the two decide to start bonding in order to develop a strong father and daughter relationship. Due to her father's death there wasn't enough time for the two to to catch up and work on their relationship. These letters are touching but Jocie has a hard time coping with the loss. Since Jocie never had the time to tell her father what she was going through, she decides to start writing letters to open up a world that her father never had a chance to hear about.

Submitted: June 11, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 11, 2017



Sometimes life is unfair. My family and I sit face to face with the doctor, as he's informing us on my dad's critical condition. From the sound of heart monitors to the blur of several nurses running up and down the hall to and from patients rooms, I feel anxious. I sit there in awe as my family and I are disappointed in the bad news that the doctor has given us. I hate hospitals, I truly despise the cold/sick atmosphere that hospitals give off. "He's in danger of falling into a coma Mrs. Walker." I then turned my attention away from the doctor and then to my mother. My mother just kept shaking her head. I can tell from the look on her face that she was having a hard time trying to get her words out. "No...unbelievable!" My mother became loud with her wprds and my brother,  Austin had to calm her down. My mother broke down immediately and Austin hugged her trying to soothe her loud sobs. I felt numb at this point, it's like my whole world was shattering. "Jocie?...." I turned around to face my younger sister Brianna. "Is dad going to be alright?" I wasn't sure of what to say but I didn't know how to answer that, how do you tell your younger sister who's 8 year old that her father is in danger of falling into a coma. "I don't know but I know he'll pull through because he's strong." That's all I could come up with to tell her, because even though I wasn't sure, I felt as if some of it were true. I always thought my dad can pull through anything because he's a fighter, not a quitter. 


Growing up with my dad was very challenging at times. I didn't have the best relationship with him but I didn't have a horrible one either. There is so much that my father missed out on in my life. It was until recently that my dad decided that he wanted to start bonding with me more. Just a few weeks ago we were sitting down in a restaurant catching up with each other. I admit that I wasn't the perfect daughter for him, at least that's what I thought, but all I wanted was for my dad to bond with me and really understand me. I hope that it's not too late and that it's not the end for my dad, because I love him. I regret all the bad things I said about him, I only said those things because I was angry. I remember how my father used to tuck me in at night and read to me, when he'd take me and my siblings to go get ice cream, sometimes he would even give me and my best friend, Courtney rides to places to where we wanted to hang out. 


After leaving the hospital with my family I went home to find my box of unwritten letters . The box contained several unfinished and unwritten letters that I never ended up finishing and giving to my dad. There were only about 10 letters in this box, not that many. I never told anyone about this box. Some letters have titles only and some only have minimal and unfinished writing on them. I took the thin letter papers out of the box and held them in my hands. Memories....these letters had so many memories written on them. "Jocelyn....Are you in there sweetie?" It was my mother knocking at the door, she sounds so shaken up. "Come in mom!" I quickly hid the letter box under my bed as she entered the room. "Is everything okay in here sweetie?" I sat there for a moment and then finally shook my head beginning to tear up. "Aw sweetie." My mother came towards me and hugged me. She comforted me for most of the night as I know she was going from room to room to check on my brother and sister as well. I knew that my mother cried herself to sleep, as I could hear her cries for the rest of the night.


Unfortunately a few days later, we were informed by the doctor that my dad had fallen into a coma. "He's been unresponsive since we've performed the surgery. That's when we noticed that he had a weak heart." Nothing could be more worse than a doctor standing directly in front of you and your family to give bad news about your loved one once again. I stormed off to the bathroom as I felt angry, nauseous, and anxious. I didn't want to hear anymore, I started to feel sick. "Maybe there's hope." I thought standing near the toilet just in case I felt sick again. Hope was really the only thing that could keep us going, keep me going.


I wasn't used to my dad not walking into the door every evening around 8. I would sometimes sit near the front door as if I were waiting patiently for him. I sat there just imagining him entering the house and asking me how my day was, how I'm feeling, and me asking him how he's doing and how his day went. This didn't feel right, I felt a little incomplete. "Waiting for dad?" I turn around to face Austin. His face shows stress, anger, and even sadness. At some angles it looked like he had even been crying. "No...I just like sitting here at this time of night, it helps me to remember him." Austin then smiles. "Yeah I wish that he were coming home too." I look back at him. "All we can do is hope." I almost began to cry as I used that word hope again. Austin then walked over to me and hugged me, then patted me on the shoulder "He'll be fine, dad is always strong and he'll pull through." "I hope so..." I thought.


I then headed off to my room and turned to look at the letter box. I felt like there was a lot I needed to get off my chest that night. I had to write it but it would be for my dad. Whenever he gets out of his coma I will give him these letters from this box finished or unfinished. I then sat down at my desk and pulled out a pen and a piece of beige parchment paper. Where to start? If this was going to be for my dad then it has to be about something that I've been wanting to get off my chest for the longest and I absolutely knew what it was.


Letter # 1

Why Did You Decide to wait til the Last Minute?


Dear Dad,


Why the last minute? I've been your daughter for almost 17 years now. You can't leave us without finishing off where you've started. I've waited all my life just for you to bond with me. Dad I love you. You'll probably hear those words a lot in my letters but its true. 2 weeks ago you took me to this nice Italian restaurant and we had a nice talk. You would always tell me how you would like to be a grandfather and wanted to see all of your children happy and successful with their lives. You said for my high school graduation that you would plan something special. You admitted to me a lot of your flaws. All I wanted was for you to get close to me and be there for me. As I was growing up I didn't really get so close to you. Mother would always constantly tell you over and over to always bond with me and you were having a hard time doing so because you were either always at work or probably found some other reason not to. It's okay, I understand and I'm not mad at you. At least I can go around telling others that I have a great father who loves and supports me. Even though he waited until I was 15-16 years old to bond with me, I truly appreciate that. I'm actually very thankful for it. Don't go too soon dad, because I still need you, we all need you.





Your Daughter


Jocelyn "Jocie" Walker


6 Months Later


6 months...that's a long time. A long time for your father to be comatose. Him being unresponsive is never a good sign for me or my family. "He could wake up with possible brain damage." Once again we're all sitting here face to face with the doctor who once again is giving us bad news. "You have to make a decision Mrs. Walker...." "A decision...." Why did he have to say it like that? I think I knew what he meant but I just didn't want to believe it. "I'll have to talk to my children about this Doctor and I'll get back to you as soon as possible." My mother then walked over to us, it's like she was hesitating to talk to us about the bad news. I honestly don't blame her for hesitating. I just shook my head in tears. This can't be happening, not like this. "Kids?" We all looked at our mother as she signaled for us to leave the hospital and instead we went home to talk about the situation.


We were all gathered in the living room. "Your dad isn't holding up so well. I don't want to make this decision on my own. I need all of your decisions as well." "Decision on what?" I asked for clarification. Mom, Austin, and Brianna all looked at me. "I think you know what she means Jocie." Austin clarified. "What's going on, is dad going to die, mom?" The room went silent as no one knew what to say after Brianna asked her question. My mother looked at me signaling that I should comfort Brianna, then she looked over at Brianna. "No sweetie, we're trying to save your dad's life." "I want him to live and be strong." Brianna said. Austin also agreed to wait and see. Then as everyone turned to me for my decision I sat there blankly and silent as I couldn't decide. Should I let him live, and continue to suffer or pull the plug and set him free? I sat up and before I could come to a decision my mother interrupted "Let's continue this in the morning."


Perfect! Now I have to think of my decision overnight. As I lay in bed I couldn't sleep. That was the longest and sleepless night I ever had. I woke up and picked up my unwritten letters box to go over each and every single letter. "Jocelyn! Breakfast!" My mother called. I was nervous but I knew I was making the right choice with deciding what I wanted to be done with my father. I went to the kitchen and sat at the table staring at the lovely made breakfast that my mother put together on my plate. From the smell and looks of delicious sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and waffles on my plate I didn't have much of an appetite. I went ahead and started eating just to keep my mother from questioning my awkwardness.


"I decided that I want him to fight on through, I want him to live as long as he can!" I blurted out after chewing and swallowing my food. All forks stopped and my mother turned to me. "Good sweetie! We all want the same thing as well. I'm glad we sat as a family and agreed on this." I smiled faintly and started eating. After we finished breakfast the phone suddenly rings. My mother runs over to answer the phone as I'm washing the dishes. "WHAT! We're on our way!" I heard my mother shout. I knew what the call was dad....


My mother told us on the way to the hospital that he had a heart attack and was going into operation. I remember sitting in the waiting room for hours for what seemed like several days. The doctor came out and faced all of us and this time the look on his face was different. What he said next I couldn't put into words because I felt so numb. "He didn't make it." Damn it dad...why? My mother broke down and I ran out of the hospital to get some fresh air because I felt like I couldn't breathe. Things would never be the same, I will never be able to get over this.


Letter # 2

As I buried you I remember

Dear Dad,


Now that you rest in peace I remember back to when I was a kid. You'd used to stay up late just to get me to go to sleep. You would always tell me that family was your first priority and that even though you weren't there all the time due to work, you always tried to put time in to come home to your family before we all went to bed. Sometimes that didn't work out because you had to work over hours just to make sure you had enough to provide for your family. I never thought that this would happen. You left us too soon and I miss you. I remember when your favorite song used to come on you would start dancing and it was truly the funniest thing ever. I know that now being 16 almost 17 that I lost a lot. I remember you'd walk into the house on some Fridays with pizza and we all used to jump up and down with excitement because we loved pizza. Most of all, I remember you and what an important figure you were in my life. I love you on.






I couldn't move and I stood there numb. I watched my father in his casket, rose in hand, suited up nicely, its like he was sleeping. Brianna cried the whole funeral and didn't have much to say. She was so young, she didn't even get enough time to get to know him so well. I looked up and everyone was crying my paternal grandmother, various aunts and uncles (my dad's siblings) were all distraught and of course my family as well. My mother looked nice and she was holding up well, I could tell she was strong but also fighting back the pain and tears. I was too, until I had given my speech.


I stood at the podium and looked around at every single face. Some were looking at me and some weren't because they were taking in all the pain. I then looked down as if tears were coming too soon then I looked back up and began to speak. "For all in attendance, thank you for coming. My father was a good a great man. I loved him and I know everyone else here loved him just as much. This is a depressing time for my family and I, as well as for you all. My dad wouldn't want this, he'd want us to be happy for him and to continue to live on with our lives. We all know that he is strong and he was a tough fighter in his life. I want you all to remember him not for who he was but for what he's done because he's done a lot."


After I gave my speech I began to see a change in the mood. All family members were shocked at such a powerful speech I gave but I began to cry and had to be excused to the bathroom before my father's burial. As we buried my father I was heart broken because I wanted him to come back but I knew that he couldn't. I held my mothers hand. "I'm so proud of you honey. I'm proud of all of you." I looked at my mother and smiled and we watched my fathers casket disappear into the ground.


During the funeral several family members came up to me about giving a really great speech. They were surprised that quiet, shy, and reserved Jocelyn was a great speech writer. I became depressed. I cried day and night for the past week. Our house became depressing in general and we had to look into therapy sessions to cope as a family. We each got our own individual therapist as well.


My mother was unable to maintain the house and pay the bills alone so Austin had to help out by finding a job that pays better and that's hard so he ended up working two jobs and we barely saw him.


Letter # 3

Things are hard without you

Dear Dad,


Nothing is the same without you here with us. Mom is struggling with paying the bills and Austin has to help out. He just got two jobs, I know you'd be proud of him if you were here. I sometimes sit on the couch near the front door just waiting for you to walk in. I can't help but think about you dad. I know I'm not the only one who's suffering with this loss but I truly do miss you, we all do. Everyone at that funeral misses you very much as well. This house will never be the same dad...not without you in it...This is going to take all of us sometime getting used to.







Getting over a loved one wasn't so easy after all, no one said that it would be. Life is a bitch and sometimes it could bring out the bitch hiding inside of you. I went from being depressed to angry at some points. I picked up a glass chandelier and SMASH! There went my bedroom mirror. "WHAT WAS THAT!" My mother screamed from outside my room. I was numb and didn't answer and stood there for a minute watching my broken reflection in the shattered mirror. Funny, because that's exactly how I felt....shattered and broken. "BANG, BANG, BANG!" My mother was pounding on my door but I gave no answer. I then tore up an incomplete letter that I was trying to write at my desk that caused me become emotional and smash the mirror out of anger in the first place. I then plopped into my bed face down. My mother barged in. "Sweetie?! What was that?!" I looked up at her in tears but didn't answer. She then looked over to my shattered bedroom window. 


"Oh no sweetie!" She walked over to the side of my bed and sat on the edge.  "I just want to be left alone right now mom." She then looked over at me with a look of disappointment and sympathy on her face. "You have to do better than this Jocelyn, I don't allow slamming and breaking in my house!." The tone in her voice that was once sympathetic became serious. I may have struck a nerve but I didn't give a damn, I was too upset to focus on other people's emotions at this point. "Do you understand Missy?" I nodded. "Yes ma'am I understand, it won't happen again." She then left me alone for the rest of the night. 


The next morning I opened up my unwritten letters box and decided that I'd share them with my best friend and family. I passed through each one deciding which ones to share with whom. I thought about contacting my best friend Court.... Courtney Robinson. "Let's meet at that old coffee shop that we'd used to love all the time." I froze deep in thought as that coffee shop had brought back so many memories. My dad was the one to introduce me to that coffee shop that Courtney and I fell in love with. "Sure that sounds lovely...."


BROOMINGTON COFFEEHOUSE.....  I stood there reading the big words and letters on the sign above the shop. Memories of my dad and this coffeehouse started to flood my mind once more. As I walked into the coffee shop to be greeted by Court I became nostalgic. The sweet smell of brewing coffee, the sound of a few chattering customers, the nice relaxing lounge music, and the sweet smell of baked goods. These were all reminders of my dad. I took a long hard swallow as I began to tear up a little. I almost wanted to change my mind and run out the door, but I couldn't. I had to get out and talk to those that were close to me. It's what I went through in therapy. 


I walked up to Court and we hugged. "Hey! I'm sorry." She reached out and held my hand. I smiled "It's okay, I'm happy to see you!" I haven't talked to Court for a few weeks since I was dealing with a lot but she sent her condolences. After some greeting chatter with Court, I then reach into my bag and pulled out a letter to read.


Letter # 4


Dear Dad,


Writing this letter was hard for me because I'm so upset that I have to put it into words. When I was being bullied in elementary school where were you? This is when I needed you most. I remember coming out of school in tears as the kids made fun of me. There you were waiting for me and you just looked and walked off like you usually do. You were unlocking the car door as I caught up to you and asked why was I crying. I told you that those  bullies had put me down and what did you tell me. You told me not to let them see me cry and got back into the car. Don't let them see you cry....Is that something that you would tell your child who was a victim of bullying? Not in my book. I was mad at you for that. How could you do something like that to me? However, I decided to forgive you for it but it still hurts and I need answers...NO! I want answers dad.






I then froze for a second and looked up at Court in awe with the short written letter in my hand. I began to tear up and I could tell from the look on Court's  face that she felt awkward and looked like she really didn't know what to say to make things better. She then looked down at my box of letters "You don't have to read any more letters if  you don't want to, I understand how hard it must be for you to do Jocie." I looked up at Court "Yeah you're right maybe this isn't a great time." She placed her hand on my shoulder. "That sounds pretty harsh." She then hugged me and I hugged her back. 


After that day at the coffee shop I didn't see Court for quite some time. I was so busy that I barely had the time to hang out with her.  As time went on I've shared letters with my mother, aunt, friend, brother, and my sister. The rest I've read to myself.


"What was it like sharing that letter with your friend?" I sat there as my therapist  slid her notepad to the side. I questioned as to why she did this but I guess she didn't have to take notes to do any intake. "It if I had  a wave of relief wash over me." She smiled. "That's good Jocelyn. I see that you're making good progress sometimes opening up to someone especially someone that you can trust could  really help you cope with your situation." I smiled. She then had me relax on this soft couch. "What music would you like me to play to help you relax." I looked over at the wall and saw an image of a quote "You are not broken. You are breaking through."- Alex Myles. Interesting quote, I wish it were that easy to take all in at this point. The room was nice and warm to keep the cold weather from outside creeping in. The white walls felt soothing, the therapy room comforted me. "Any kind of relaxation music will do." As my therapist cut the music on, I then closed my eyes to relax and just let everything go in that brief moment.


I found therapy to be very beneficial for my family and I. We eventually finished and I overcame a lot of the deep and dark pain and anger that once fulfilled my heart. I had to understand that my dad now rest in a better place and that he is no longer suffering like he was. We've all improved as a family and our struggles are all put behind us. Austin finished college and is now a full time engineer, Brianna just started the 4th grade, and mom opened up her own full-time business selling homemade spa kits and I assisted her with that to have some money to put up for myself. I am now in my senior year of high school. I'm glad things turned out well. Even though things will never be the same without my dad, we've all followed through and achieved our goals and that's what he would've wanted us to do. I went to my room and sat at my desk. I sat in my chair and opened up my box of letters. I pulled out the last final letter that I had worked prior to my father's death. This letter had cut deep. This letter was hard to share with anyone because this was the last letter I tried to pull together when my dad got sick and fell into a coma. I looked at the letter and read the title of it. "My Final Words For Your Final Days." I cried and held the letter close to my chest sobbing quietly. Thoughts and memories of my dad started flooding my mind. This letter was hard to read but I had to revisit the letter.


Letter # 5

My Final Words For Your Final Days


Dear Dad,


Is this really the end for you. Don't die on me, please don't leave me. The doctor only says you have a week to live. Why'd you let yourself go? There is so much we haven't done together. You promised me so much and now it's too late. You wanted to spend time with me and take me out to eat to see what's going on with me, to see how I'm doing, and to find out what's new.  Seeing you hooked up to a machine unable to move was truly heartbreaking to me. Where do I start dad? When I was little you would always tickle me and tell me bedtime stories. Living with you meant that I was safe. First off, I forgive you for everything.  Your my dad and I just now finally came to realize that not a lot of people have a good dad like you. Despite your flaws, you always set out to take care of us putting food on the table, clothes on our back, making sure the bills were paid. There was even once a time where you took care of us all by yourself. It amazed me because, I looked up to you and I someday want to be a parent just like you were. Even when mom filed for divorce a lot was going through my mind. You promised that you and me would take a trip out to Naples, Florida and then spend the weekend in Orlando but time was too short for you. I can't believe this is happening, that your going to be leaving us and I won't hear from you anymore. I know your going to be in a better place and that you'll be watching over us. You asked God for forgiveness and I definitely must say that I forgive you. I'm glad I spent the last few days with you while you were on your feet and doing well, going to the restaurants to get to know you. Just want to let you know that I love you so much!



Your Daughter




After reading my letter I wiped my face of any tears or sadness and went out to the living room to be with the rest of my family. It was TV night, the night where we all sat together to watch our favorite shows or just  to watch a general movie. My mother looked over at me and smiled. "Come and join us sweetie." Austin and Brianna were debating on which show to watch. Brianna then turned to face me as I joined them in the living room "Jocie? Can we watch The Power Puff Girls please?!" I laughed and tried to convince Austin to let Brianna have her way because if she didn't have her way, she wouldn't stop whining and begging. "Alright fine! You win Bri." Austin  was unhappy with the decision but didn't complain much anymore. As I was sitting on the couch next to my mother I glanced over at dad's work/study area. No one had ever touched it since but I was curious to see what was left of dad. "I'm going to go check out dads study area." I hopped up before anyone had anything to say. 


I headed over towards his desk and there was a notepad laying there with his handwriting on it. Just seeing my dads handwriting made me smile. I missed him. I traced my fingers over the writing. From his neatened desk to the book shelves was just impressive how neat he kept his work space. My father was a smart man and always loved to read and study his work. I then saw a paper flipped over on the side of his desk. It was folded up. I picked it up and opened the letter. At the top of the letter it read: "For My Family." I took the letter and went back to the living room. My family was now watching the Power Puff Girls. I sat down and passed the letter along to my mother.

She looked at me confused and took the letter and opened it. "Can I read it aloud, I think this is a message that dad intended to leave us before he passed." She was still examining the letter in silence and then turned to me. "Yes, you can read it sweetie after the show ends." I don't know why but I started to feel a little emotional at this point. The show then ended and Austin and Brianna turned to face us. My mother then looked at me and nodded for me to start reading the letter.


Dad's Letter

To My Family....

Dear Family,


Lisa, Austin, Jocelyn, Brianna, and all other family members,


If you find this then you may come to know that I'm unwell. I fell ill and I never really got a chance to make things right. I want to first let you all know that, I truly love you all very much. If something happens to me I want you all to keep moving on with your lives and accomplish your goals, doing the best that you can. Even though I'm not physically there, I will always be there in your memories to tell you to keep going. I may not live much longer. I just got word from doctors that my kidneys are failing and that I only have a year left to live. I know I never told any of you this and please don't be upset if something comes up as a surprise. Eventually you will see how ill I'll become and it wont be much of a surprise anymore will it? Lisa, Austin, Jocie, and Bri, If you open up my drawers there are individual letters and items for each of you. Again, I love you all so much and just know that if I'm not there, I'm still watching over all of you.


Love yours truly,


Albert Walker, Dad, and Daddy.


I cried after I read the letter, in fact we all did. My mother cuddled with all of us and eventually we went to sort things out in my dad's study/work area. We all found what we were looking for. I had moved some of the items he had given me up to my room. A letter, his mother's necklace, more pen and paper, and a few decoration room items as I loved to decorate my room from time to time.


The next morning, I woke up early. I jumped out of bed and put on a hoodie and sweat pants since it was a little chilly outside. I stood there and thought about what my dad wrote in that family letter. "Even though I'm not physically there, I will always be there in your memories to tell you to keep going." The nice cool air was soothing and it helped me to relax before I became emotional again. I then looked towards the sky and smiled. "Dad I know you're watching."



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