I just sent my dad a letter, and I felt like reposting it here. I haven't been able to write lately, but this is a pretty good gauge of how I'm feeling about things. It's in response to a letter he sent me, in which he told me about how he'd been in the hospital with "one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel," in his words.
I love you dad, and I miss you, too. I hope you really are making changes. You really scared us there. I thought you were gonna die. Don't do that again. You're better off getting yourself committed or going to jail than ever getting that drunk again. I didn't sleep for a week after you went to the hospital. Every time I dozed off I would have nightmares. I keep remembering all the good times we had when I was little, and how happy and alive and in control you were. Are you still the same person? That seems really sad to me that that man I knew would one day have to go through what you;re going through now. What happened? Was there some point of no return? Some bridge you crossed that you now regret? I worry about spiraling down like that. Like the old man. I don't think I've cried so much in my life as I have this past while, not knowing what would happen with you. I don't want to lose you, Dad. And I don't just mean death. I mean the good kind caring clever person I know you are. You wrote me a letter when I was on my mission about potential. You have closed a lot of doors in your life, but I know you can find peace. You feel guilt for missing your grandson's birth, but the Lord can take that away if you let him and if you really want to change. You can make up for it by being around for the rest of his life. I will pray for you, but you'd better be praying for yourself. I don't care how much guilt you have; you need to talk to your Father in Heaven. Before it's too late, Dad. The atonement doesn't just help take away our past mistakes, but it gives us the power we need to not make them again. You have to ask for that help. If this is the turning point you say it is, then you'd better not be drinking any more at all. No smoking, no drugs. If you're still doing those things, then maybe you'd better consider how much deeper yo ucan sink before yo uhit bottomn and start coming up again. The answer is that you can't go any deeper. Next time you "hit bottom" you'll die. Please don't do that. I never met your dad. Please hang around long enough for my kids to meet their grandfather. Please be my dad again. I love you. Sorry if I sound like I'm scolding you. You just scared me so bad. You're in my prayers, and the prayers of my friends. BE GOOD. Love, Me