His poetry was a big part of who he was and many will remember him because of a particular poem he wrote. For though he was a great oral communicator of deep, intellectual thought, his poetry was his way of revealing his more personal, emotional thoughts.
I loved his poetry and treasure it for the legacy it is—an intimate portrait of who he was and what he believed. But what I treasured most was something much simpler, his “comic strip and post-it note” love.
When I went away to college I think he spent more on postage than he did on my tuition. Nearly every day I would get something in the mail from him—a comic strip, or newspaper article, sometimes a Dear Abby or Ann Landers column with a little yellow post-it note attached. The message varied but it always ended with “I love you, Karen. Love, Dad.”
When he got a computer, the post-it notes evolved into e-mails. Daily he forwarded funnies and political messages, and, of course, poems. Our new mode of communication began with something called the “reply” button and one line responses back and forth. His always ended the same way as the post-it notes. “I love you, Karen. Love, Dad.”
The internet was down on Thursday, so he didn’t get to reply to my reply to a poem he had posted the day before. But, when we talked by phone that evening, he ended with those same cherished words-- “I love you, Karen.”
And that is what I will miss the most.
I love you, Daddy.