Brulog

Words of occasional wisdom from Bruce Oakley

Daddy’s girl

Posted by boakley59 on December 23, 2008

Mr. Taylor,

You left us too soon, 11 years ago today. We think of you often, always with love and admiration.

I promised myself to report to you every year on this solemn anniversary to let you know that your little girl is still safe and secure, happy and loved. The last few years I haven’t been writing down my reports as I should, and last year I was recovering from surgery, so you know my thoughts were more fleeting than is appropriate for so important a subject. I hope you don’t take my making my report public this year as even more inappropriate.

I’m trying hard to lift Suzy up, but as you know she has the bigger job taking care of me these days. It seems now that words are almost all I have, so I use them to encourage when I can, but I worry that’s not enough. I’ve also done what small things I could, faint echoes of what she deserves. I made her paper flowers, in a pill bottle for a vase. I gave her a Corvette, in 1/25 scale and purple, not the red she dreams of. I wrote little programs and we talked a lot about staff training and procedures as she tried to improve a disorganized office. I tried hard to reassure her, to reaffirm her principles and praise her skill and commitment. I hope I helped her breathe easy as she follows a new career path after all these years.

For the first time, I sat by her side in the hospital as we worried about her delicate heart. I know that after your accident, your life was a lot like mine is now; we get used to being the ones who are watched over. I’m not sure if you got the chance to find out that it’s really much harder to be beside the hospital bed than in it. I felt especially helpless holding Suzy’s hand and looking at her monitor leads as we waited for medical reports. I hardly even had words then.

But the doctor says she will probably be all right, although we have to watch her closely from now on. I promised you long ago I’d do that anyway. All of that came with the distress of that job she left behind, and she’s moved on to a more comfortable place, so we’re hoping we won’t go through that again.

Things are looking up, and today so are we — thinking of you. I’m sorry to say I’ve faded since first we met, but you should know my commitment hasn’t. I’m still holding your baby, tight as I can.

Rest easy Ben,

Bruce

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