Letter to Dad

I was always going to write a song about how much I loved you. But you were supposed to hear it.

You reached out to me in the back seat when we would ride in the car; holding hands will never be the same. You read to me; now I can’t open the book. You taught me rhythm; my heart misses you with every beat.

Once I said I’d rather be deaf than blind. Your response: “Really? But then you couldn’t hear music.” I can’t pick up the guitar. I can’t listen to the songs. I can’t watch a father-daughter dance.

I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

I’ll always be that girl. The one who has to leave to collect herself, the one who has to pretend I’m okay because it’s awkward if I’m not. Everybody doesn’t want to talk about you every second of every day the way that I do. For the rest of my life: “she lost her father when she was young.” No wedding dance. No grandchildren. There’s never going to be a moment that’s 100% happy again in my life, because half of my heart won’t be there.

My favorite game when I was little was when you would push me on the swing and begin a story, and then you’d have to chase me to the other side to continue. I kept going back and forth, and you kept following me, not ever being able to finish the story. But the story didn’t even matter. What mattered was that you were there. Wherever I went, you would come with me.

Wherever I go, you will come with me. I’ll hear you in the music of my guitar. I’ll touch you when I reach out for a hand in the car. I’ll dance with you at my wedding. And I will never, ever stop feeling you in every heart beat.

I’m going to write a song about how much I love you. You’re going to hear it.


  1. Megan Linney · January 19, 2016

    This is stunning. I love you, Leah.


  2. Aunt Jane · January 19, 2016

    Beautifully composed, heart rendering to read.


  3. Skylar Valles · January 21, 2016

    Beautifully Written 🙂 Hope all is well! Miss you here at USC!


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