Pride to panting.

Dear dad,

You’re gone, you’re never coming back. My heart feels like it could explode. I look for you. Look at the pictures of you on the table by my bed. Hear you in the songs you used to listen to. Taste you in a cup of coffee in the morning with a pastry. Smell you in your old t-shirts I wear. I can’t always feel you, and it tortures me. I look at your arms around me in the photos, hoping I might feel the security of your embrace, the strength of your arms holding me close, the rise and fall of the heartbeat in your chest, the warmth of your skin as love runs through your veins. I can’t recreate it. How do I protect him from this longing? How do I not put this desire on him to satisfy? Is it you or him? Real or not real?

Mom and I stopped at your grave after church this morning, and as I was staring at the tombstone with SAJEWICH in big letters and your name in smaller letters underneath, I realized I wasn’t proud of having our last name, wasn’t proud of being your daughter when I was younger. As I said before, I was embarrassed. It hurts me to say it. In the darkest corners of my soul, I didn’t want to be a part of our family. Pridefully, I thought I was better, knew more and was overall too good to be a part of a deficient family. Sickening I know. Praise God, though, because as I was standing there and looking at our name, SAJEWICH, I was genuinely grateful for bearing that name. What an honor it is and nowhere near something to hide from or run from. I am proud to be your daughter.

I love you,



"Surely man at his best is a mere breath." -King David I am a mere breath God has graciously gifted to be His daughter first, a daughter and sister, a friend, an athlete, a writer, a coach. I hope to be a full-time professional soccer player, write a book or two, be a lifelong learner, work for a sports and faith ministry, coach college soccer, have a family and maybe even pick up the guitar. My dad died when I was a sophomore in college. Writing became especially important to me after his death, helping me grieve and heal. I find writing letters to him has helped me process deep emotions and pain I didn't really know what to do with. My hope is the letters will share experiences that speak to and shine a light into the lives and stories of others in some way.

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