The Final Letter to Angela

My Dear Sweet Girl,

I have no idea if you’ll remember me when you’re old enough to read this. You were so young when I died, and I was gone for so much of your short life. I wasn’t a good father, but I loved you. I wanted so much for you. I was just never able to deliver it.

I imagine you must be angry with me for leaving you. You have every right to be angry. I’m angry at myself. I wanted to believe I could make the world into something my daughter could be happy in… I suppose I didn’t go about it in the right way. I should have quit my job, should have let the world worry about its own problems while I took care of the things I actually could take care of. You and your beautiful mother.

You’re three years old as I write this, and already the smartest person I know. You can count to fifty and you speak in complete sentences… I know by now you won’t think that’s remarkable, but to me it’s amazing. You’re this tiny, wonderful being that’s advancing so fast… I tell my partners, John Park and Jullianna Torres, that you’re smart enough to replace one and tough enough to replace the other already.

I know your memories of me are going to fade over time. That has to happen, and it should. You’re going to be a better person than I ever was, I can already tell. I know you’ll have questions about who I was, and the important thing to remember is: I wasn’t a good father to you. I let you down, even though I loved you. You can love someone and still not do what’s best for them. I was a smart man, and I was a strong man, but I wish I’d been a better father. And a better husband.

My very last thoughts in the world are going to be of the time you, your mother and I were all in the kitchen, and I was holding you as your mother was pouring orange juice. She was wearing a white blouse and gray pants, and you were wearing your pink pajamas with yellow flowers on them. You pointed at the scars on my face and asked “Why does daddy have lines on his face?”

Your mom said, “Daddy got hurt chasing bad people.”

And you said. “The lines don’t make you ugly, daddy.” And you kissed me. And I cried so hard your mom had to come over and we all held each other, there in the kitchen.

You were the light of my life.

The Final Letter to Angela

Shadows Over Boston: Innocence Lost Zaeth ben_rae_5203