Dear Dad,

Can you believe it’s been two years since your death? In that weird way time has of warping our sense of its passing, it seems an eternity, but also just like yesterday. I can still feel your hand in mine and hear your labored breathing, as if it were only moments ago that I stood by your hospital bed. But that person and who I am now are substantially different. Since your death it feels I’ve been born anew.

I’ve been working really hard on showing up in every area of my life as my truest self. I try to live my life without barriers or masks, so that the Ysette who shows up for work is the same as the one who shows up for trapeze class, is the same as the one who shows up for dinner dates, is the same as the one who shows up for alone time. Work is play is personal is professional.

And remember when you called me at college to nudge me to “balance the pie” of my life—particularly by attending to my spirituality? Well, check and check.

I regard this new self with such wonder for I hardly recognize her. Although you would immediately recognize this “new me,” because she is the daughter you always knew you had, the daughter I wish I could have been for you while you were still alive.

You understand, Dad. You were that way, too. You were yourself regardless of who you were talking to, whether you were in a suit or shorts, in Manila or California, at the bowling alley or the boardroom.

Thank you for everything you’ve taught me. You did your best in the thirty years we had together, but it took longer than that for those seeds to blossom and bear fruit. Better late than never, right?

I still shed tears and miss you madly from time to time—in fact, I’m tearing up right now. I remember wondering how I could manage to be in the world when the one person who loved me unconditionally was gone. But the crazy truth is I don’t think I would appreciate myself half as much if you were still around.

You understand, Dad. You always do.

Love always,



m. kelter · March 29, 2016 at 7:36 am

this is thoughtful, beautiful writing, thanks for this Ysette.

    Ysette · March 29, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Thank you for reading and commenting, M!

Anderson · April 3, 2016 at 7:31 am

Truly wonderful piece Ysette. What a great model you had in your Dad. Your post is inspiring me to truly show up, be authentic in all aspects of my life. Work is play is personal is professional. Great job!

    Ysette · April 3, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Thanks for such kind words about my dad and this post. I write because I’m moved to, and it’s icing on the cake to hear when the writing moves others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.