Monday, June 23, 2014

On Being a Dad

Dear John,
 
I have no idea how we managed it since we didn't get Jen until her eighteenth birthday, but she is clearly ours. And I can't explain the brown eyes and curly hair, either. But ours she is.
 
She takes after you in so many ways, but especially when it comes to taxes. She reads tax law for the fun of it, just like you used to. She watches the mail for the forms every January so she can start working on them. Every spring she lives and breathes taxes. Your legacy lives on in your daughter.
 
I used to enjoy watching you have so much fun with our taxes. The dining room table would disappear for weeks at a time, with tax books and records spread out all over the place. When you had to file pastor's taxes, with that awful dual-status  situation, you ate it up. Most CPAs won't touch pastor's taxes, but you loved it - doing yours, and anybody else's that would let you.
 
You and Jen are the only people I've ever known that have taxes as a hobby. And I've benefitted so much from it. You did ours for thirty-four years and Jen has helped with mine since you died. She fills holes you left in my life, like taxes and chocolate-covered raisins.
 
And I know that you love her so much. I used to watch you restrain yourself from rushing to her defense and rescue, just like you always did with me. The only time I've ever seen you want to go beat up people was when we so nearly lost her on 9/11 - terrorists threatened your little girl and you wanted their blood. And when you died you hated leaving her, especially with her life at a point of transition. But I know that you pray for her, and I know how proud you are of who she is. And I sincerely hope that you know now how much she loves you! After all, you're her dad.
 
Love from all of your little family,
Joan.

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