A Letter to my Father by Martie Coetser

Kittikun Atsawintarangkul @ freedigitalphotos.net
Kittikun Atsawintarangkul @ freedigitalphotos.net

My dearest Pappie

How I miss you!

How I wish you were here!

How I wish I could look you in the eyes and hug you with all my love.

When I close my eyes, I can still feel you just as you were the last time in the grip of my hug. I haven’t told you how concerned I was because you’ve lost so much weight. Gosh, I could feel your ribs and thinking of it now, I am all over astonished. You never had an inch of excessive weight, I know, but you were never gauntly and bony. So I was stunned and I doubted the qualifications and competence of your doctor. A month later, when you had that fatal cardiac thrombosis, I realized that my concern was not a baboon on the other side of the mountain, but Death himself on our doorstep.

Pappie, you are always somewhere in the front of my mind. You would have loved all the opportunities this world now offers to the living. Your genealogic research would have been so much easier and less expensive, you would have marveled in the history of the human race.

You would have been a writer of historical fiction, I am sure. You would have been extremely happy, practicing all your talents in this world today. Oh, and of course, you would have still hated Jan Tax. Maybe you would have been the president of a group opposing that pet animal of the Government.

I know you would have been proud of me.

But…

Yes, Pappie, sorry, I still have a ‘but’ for everything, and I know you would grant me this, as always.

If you were here, I would still feel guilty because I’ve disappointed you while you held me in such high esteem. You were so proud of me; you had so many high aspirations for me. Why did I destroy all those beautiful dreams you had for me? I’ve shocked you so totally speechless! Even while you’ve forgiven me, while you’ve accepted reality with dignity and kept on treating me as if I was still your clever, eldest daughter, your disappointment in me and my feelings of guilt settled into a solid wall between us to keep us emotionally apart until the very end. How I wish we could have talked about that. I know if we could share our thoughts and feelings, the wall between us would have disappeared into a heap of dust.

Anyway, Pappie, I’ve learned how to live with this wish that will never be fulfilled.

But…

Sorry, Pappie, I still have another ‘but’…

It was not all my fault. You were too damn busy with yourself and your personal goals to give me the love and attention I needed. You expected too much of me; you’ve taken me for granted. But really, I am not throwing stones. I am just saying. Just so you know I am not carrying all the blame to my grave.

Sorry, I am still cheeky, Pappie, still audacious enough to speak out and face the consequences with my chin in the air. Of course you will not send me to my room. You’ve learned the ineffectiveness of this control-technique long before I’ve left home to live my future in the territory of another stern authority.

And, of course, I don’t blame you for anything. You were but only you. You have never neglected me on purpose. In fact, your intension – for all your doings – was to give me and all your beloved children more of you and what you could gather in this world. You were just you - caring, protective, with the highest aspirations for yourself and your children. And you were always so in love with our mother. How many times I caught you red-handed hugging her where you thought nobody would find you? And I’m not going to say anything about all those giggles I so often heard through the closed door of your bedroom.

In my eyes you were perfect. If only you knew what you were supposed to know at that specific stage of your life everything would have been different. The incident, and also its ripples, would not even have had a chance to happen in our lives. But then I would not be so happy today, being the mother and grandmother of such beautiful and adorable offspring. I am so proud of all of them.

Pappie, this is but all I have on my heart. Besides this, I treasure the most wonderful memories of you. I was always so proud to be your daughter. And I still am. So very-very proud. Maybe too proud. I am irritating the living daylight out of everybody, bragging about you all the time.

I hope with all my heart that you are happy in Heaven. Oh, of course you are. In my dreams I always see you wearing a white coat - like those of doctors on duty. But you are not a doctor, but a researcher on the moon or some other planet, gathering monsters of the surface, and you’re not at all lonely and sad up there. You are completely absorbed in your work and thoughts, you don’t even see or hear me calling your name. In the belly of that moon-like planet are many laboratories where people like you serve our ingenious creator. Yes, I always knew that Jesus will not make you sing in a choir for the entire eternity; He knows as good as I, no, better, that you will always need a challenge to meet.

Pappie, I will always-always love you with all my heart.

Your only eldest daughter,

Martie.

© Martie Coetser (16 Junie 2012)

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved

Registered :: 2012-06-16 16:30:15 UTC
Title :: A LETTER TO MY FATHER BY MARTIE COETSER
Category :: Publication
Fingerprint :: cbf7eabedb0e4b8455eeee8008552a1eff0edb54940ef3c6f62e54cbace44c28
MCN :: CWPTU-U7TNH-4SSRM

A Punch of a Comment

haggard50 ~ If fathers only knew that their relationship with their daughters is immortal. If daughters only knew that their fathers aren't. Then we would keep all those loose ends tied.

~~~~~~


31 March 1956 - Flip Coetser & Wilma Pieterse © MCJCP
31 March 1956 - Flip Coetser & Wilma Pieterse © MCJCP
© MCJCP
© MCJCP
© MCJCP
© MCJCP

More by this Author


Comments 92 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well that was heart-wrenching....and beautiful. Open, honest, painful and celebratory. A wonderful piece of work. Well done my friend!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Martie,

I am stunned at the beauty and bravery in yours words...beauty at the love you had for your father, bravery for baring your very soul to all of us.

This was a magnificent piece of writing, my friend.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Martie

Beautiful and heartwrenching. It touched my heart.

I had my differences with my dad. Nothing was ever good enough. I got tired of seeking his approval. We worked things out. The last words my dad and I shared were "I love you. The next day he died.

Take care :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Billybuc, thank you so much for you beautiful comment. Much appreciated!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Daisy, you have inspired me via one of your hubs to write this letter to my father. Thank you. The therapeutic value of writing should never be under-estimated. And then publishing it to be supported by the most wonderful people in the world - the writers of HubPages - is certainly the best way to get rid of all thorns in one's flesh. Thank you so much for your support.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Sueswan, I envy you. My father and I loved each other dearly, but I was always-always aware of the wall between us. Maybe he was not aware of it. How shall I ever know exactly of what he was aware of? We talked about everything under the sun, except about the incident that have sent me in a direction he never had in mind for me. But that is history. By the time he had died, I've made enough amends to live on with peace in my heart. Just sometimes, inter alia on Fathers Day, I wish we could have a talk. Thank you so much for your supporting comment.

BTW, I've just seen your father had passed away on 18 May - my mother's birthday :)


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Martie

My name is Susan Sproull. My dad, Gordon Sproull died September 12th, 1999.

I know your father would want you to have peace in your heart. :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

My goodness, Susan! I did not recognize you. Mmm, so many Sues in here - Now I have to go back to Victoria's corner to see who I thought was you. Take care, my friend. Hope to see you soon on the music page :)


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Beautiful Martie. I know you loved and emulated your father bunches. You were the maverick in the family. Obstinate and stubborn, outspoken and full of pride. You had to be, because your sisters and brothers were too proper to be any fun or interesting. Don't feel sad, but be glad you lived and are living life to the fullest.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

My Sista,

On this day when I celebrate more than ever that we are both alive... I believe your Dad feels that you gave him the best gifts of all... those of self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Your letter is empowering and inspiring... thank you for sharing such a deeply personal piece with us.

Love, Maria


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

It's often said that the living don't say the things we needed or wanted to say to the important people in our lives before it's to late. You my sista poured your heart out in this indeed personal tribute to your Pappie. He listened intently from the moon to your every word and smiled with delight.

He is so proud of you and never think anything differently. You being the oldest child are the rock and foundation of his seed. Through you the rest of your siblings saw their pappies strength. I loved every word you shared here my sweet friend. You let your heart speak and we all heard and listened intently. Big hugs from me to you.


Ronel Pozyn Cilliers 4 years ago

This is such an intense heart breaking story. In a way it scares me. I know in my heart that grandpa did love u very much, no matter your stubborness and being different than your sisters and brothers. If he was still with us, he would admire all you have accomplished.I love u dearly and am very proud of you!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Martie......It took a few minutes to regain my composure, after reading this sweet, loving letter to your father. It is heartwrenching and inspiring all at once.

You must never ever again, speak of being sad for believing you had disappointed your dear Dad.......you've related your deep and honest thoughts to him and ....it's been done now. A father forgives without a word.....he loved you immensely and must be bursting with pride at the incredible woman you are.

I felt every word of your letter.....and I wish you peace and happiness....now and always....


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Dear Augustine, thank you so much for your comment. I stumbled the other day and fell like a rock into depression – but not losing my grip on reality, and still able to enjoy whatever fun comes my way… I really wish my father and I could destroy the wall between us. I needed to hear him saying that he did not blame me… But for some reason he was not able to discuss the issue with me and, of course, I could not talk about it. Not to him or anybody else. My pride prevented me for 20 years to discuss it with him. Only once he had uttered a few words - while we were discussing another issue - that had brought me clearly under the impression that he empathized with me and that he knew he had handled the entire debacle wrong. I did not respond… and I was already in my 30’s. So I feel like pulling my hair out because I was too proud. But really, I’ve got to put this behind me (again). I hate wasting time crying over spilled milk.

My siblings had a lot of fun, but allowable fun. All four of them married their high school sweethearts after dating them for years.

Thank you, Augustine, for your encouraging comment. I honestly appreciate it with all my heart. Take care, and be happy :)


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Your pappie, Martie, has always been proud of you, his eldest, talented daughter. Like many fathers, perhaps he did not tell you so or often enough but I heartily believe that pride was there.

We all have regrets from time to time about what we said (or did not say) to our loved ones while they were with us. That is not at all unusual. Do not spend one more minute of your enthusiastic life regretting even one tiny moment. Just move on and enjoy the present - it's a GIFT. (I know, old adage, but very appropriate!)

Fondly, bj


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Marcoujor, Maria, thank you for reminding me that I do love myself, and did accept and forgive myself many years ago. It's just this damn Fathers Day celebrations... And maybe I must have a look at my biorhythms and organize a party....

Thank you so much for your friendship, Maria. What would I have been without you in Hubland? With you on my side I have a lot more confidence in myself.... I'll see you around :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Vincent, thank you so much for your comment and hugs. Yes, my siblings reaped all the benefits of the lessons I've taught our parents; I was indeed my parent's 'college for parents'. I considered a call to my mother, but I cannot upset her with this issue. Oh no, I just realize I am lying to myself. I don't want her to know that it is bothering me again. How many times did she tell me the same things all of you are telling me now, and still, here I am in sackcloth and ashes again? Good grief! When am I going to grow up?

Anyway, you've managed to make me laugh in FB today, so let's just move on and focus on the wonderful privilege we have to enjoy each other's company and support in Cyberspace.

Thank you, Vincent, for being my brother in here. I mean stepbrother... (Must leave some space for flirting :))

And I feel kind of ashamed now. Are we taking turns to fall into depression up here? I thought I was the one keeping everybody on the high rocks, and look at me now... It is now half past midnight, and I promise the sun will not rise on my sadness. I will be out of this damn negative mode in the next hour...


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Auuww, Ronel... I never thought that this letter might upset you. I should have warned you. No need to be scared. You know I will be okay. Always! And really, I don't regret anything that had happened to me ever, because all of that eventually culminated in YOUR birth and Steven's and now the most adorable grandchildren. I am already okay.... If you're awake, what about coming over for a midnight snack? You know I love you with all my heart :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

fpherj, oh my, what a tear-puller you are! But I must thank you. How much I hate crying, I know it is essential in order to rinse the soul of all poison...

I will remember your words. Thank you so much, Paula :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Lovely tribute which recognizes that all of of us are flawed.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

My dearest drbj, yes, I've spent enough time in this negative mode. I will be out of here before sunrise. Since 2000, after I've seen the eyes of death on the floor of my deep, dark depression pit, I normally allow myself only a day or two in the pit, but holding firmly onto the edge. I really never want to slip down again, but from time to time I need to mourn the mistakes I've made in my life. Just so I can be once again grateful because everything had turned out for the best. If my father was still with us, I would have surely talked to him, as I've conquered my ego some years ago. Pride will never again prevent me from destroying walls between me and others.

Yes, he did believe in me, and he must have been proud of me. I remember when I've faced divorce when I was not at all ready for it - during the ninth year of my marriage - he also ignored the issue, except for one move he had made. We were having a barbecue, I was not myself, fearing my future, and all of a sudden he was behind me, talking in my ear: "Lift your chin and move on. You can. I know you can." That was all he ever said about that crisis in my life. The divorce eventually happened during the nineteenth year, 2 years after my father's death. Because it was no longer necessary for me to prove anything to him. So I've started a new life.

Amazing, how much a woman will pay for the love of her father! Maybe I'll do a poem about this... another time...

Thank you drbj, for making me remember all of this...

Thank you so much for being my favorite teacher in Hubland :) You are awesome!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

WillStarr, thank you. So true! Imagine how boring we would have been without flaws? I think I need to read one of your short stories to get my mind off this hub. Take care!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Martie this is a very moving tribute of a daughter who loves her daughter enough to ask his challenging questions. Someone once told a priest she is so angry with god. The Priest said, he is so relieved. The woman asked why. He smiled and said, that means you still have a relationship!

Martie, like you I have a lot to say to my Dad - even after 6 months of losing him the love is wrapped in guilt, anger and the most painful words of them all - 'what if?'. What if he had spent more time with us? what if he listened? what if he had been able to show the love we know he had for us? what if he just gave us a little of praise now and then?

Then I think about his childhood and the fact that he lost his dad when he was 12 and grew up in poverty with a single widowed mum who was not even thirty with two sons.

I get a perspective. Not an excuse, mind you, but a perspective. Love and hugs, dear Martie.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Docmo, I can so identify with you. And yes, when I consider my father's life - and what a life he had! - and the norm of his time - the 'respectful' distance between fathers and their children - I do get a very clear perspective. As I've said, I could never really blame him; he was in fact such a giant who had risen far-far above his circumstances all on his own thanks to only the influence of his grandmother during the first 7 years of his life. It was not the custom those days for fathers to pay much attention to their children, and yet he spent more on his children than most other fathers.

He was simply completely shocked and out of his depths with my issue. Never-ever did he expected to face such a dilemma in his home. He must have had a hard time dealing with his own shock and disappointment in God and the human race... I mean, WHERE WAS GOD? Did He not promise to not allow a hair to fall off the heads of his children? My parents were extremely religious...

Yes, Docmo, once again, I have a very wide perspective.

Thank you so much. Your comment truly meant a lot to me today. Take care.

BTW, I will meet you in Hubland. We will rock the boat in #5. Thanks again for excepting the role. You better hold on to your hat :) Tralala.... :)


Eagle 'eye' 4 years ago

smile . . . :) I am happy for you and this wonderment filled with gratitude shared sparking life in so many others within a lens of reflection. A trail to blaze on the 'morrow, today, just a bit of looking and discovery of laughter is yours. Excuse me a bird just flew in the office . . .


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Lol, Tim! Today you are full of beans... distracting my attention on this sad issue... keeping me in balance... And yes, this is the way Someone up There always takes care of me.... sending eagles to feed me with what I need in order to stay alive...

I appreciate your friendship :) Thank you for the smile=provoking comment :)

Do I hear a bird outside my window?


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I've said it before and I'm saying it again when I grow up I want to be like you. This heartfelt letter to your dad that you shared with all of us, meaning ALL of us took a lot of strength and I admire you for that! Kudos to you!!


kelleyward 4 years ago

Awesome tribute to your father. Thanks for sharing your heart. Take care, Kelley


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Your letter is so special it sounds as though your still miss your Pappie.

I know I do

Voted up and awesome geat writer, Joyce.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

A great tribute and a letter that touched my heart. Voted up.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. having never known my father I celebrate vicariously through others


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh Martie, I read this before and couldn't comment. I am back again to tell you that you are so blessed to have had a Father who loved you, stayed in the family, unmistakenly he was somewhat aloof, but he was there. I never knew my Father. I used to wish for him to arrive suddenly and tell me that he loved me and missed me. Father's day is so special. He knows the love you have for him. He will tell you someday. Hugs my special friend..


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

What a wonderful hub, perfect for Father's Day and obviously written from the heart of an imperfect daughter. So touchy...thanks for sharing this enlightening piece.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Such a heart warming memory. Sounds like you had a wonderful father and he touched you life with great wisdom. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us.


Suelynn profile image

Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

Hi Martie,

Deeply heartfelt and touching! Bravo.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Such a wonderful tribute to your dad. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Martie...oh, how touching is this letter to your dear Pappie. I wonder if he can read this where he is? I am betting my life on it! And he has received these words you've written down as you've said them in your mind...that is the energy we talked about yesterday. Love...love has no bounds, no limits, and is not caged in a physical body..it is boundless, limitless and free. Just as the wind...just as that which we cannot see...so our love continues on and touches all those whom we have held near in this life.

What a vulnerable missive, Martie..and, in writing this, you have released a few of the doubts; you've given yourself strength and recognition which is being confirmed right here...right now. Through so much in your young life; to have survived all that you have survived..well, here you are and how lucky are we, your friends???

You, Martie...from the beginning when I first noticed your comments to others here on HP's..I was impressed with your natural and deeply empathetic understanding of we, mere humans. You have a 'take' about this life and circumstances which is rarely equalled. I noted that over and over and then, we bacame friends!!! What a gift!

Happy Fathers' Day to your Pappie, and all fathers out there on every plane of existence.

Your friend, Kathy


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

My dear Martie, all I can say - it is so touching! It is so good of you to write such a letter. Relationships that we have with our parents are the most difficult ones and, for some reason,

it is always easier to say "I hate you!" than "I love you!"

I am not up to the challenge of saying "I love you!" to my father, I don't hate him either, but being such a mess, I am not the best daughter, and, yet, he is probably the only man in my life that won't quit on me.

That is the way it goes, generation after generation. I will love my son more than he will ever love me and yet after my departure he might say "I wish she could understand me!"

I think you felt every word and that is what makes it so authentic, so special...

You have done a wonderful thing, Martie - you kept the love. There is nothing bigger that that.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Sunshine625 – I’m so fortunate to have a friend like you. I’ve enjoyed this hub of yours about being an adult without parents ~~~ http://hubpages.com/health/Orphaned-at-Age-39...


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Kelleyward. I hope I haven't irritated any readers. You know, what we often regarded as serious issues, are nothing in comparison with those of others. We tend to treasure our own little scars, instead of reaching out to people facing serious problems. Thank you so much for your support :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

writer20 ~ Oh yes, I will never stop missing my father. But this is natural - we cannot forget - we are humans not able to erase our memory. Thanks for your much appreciated vote and compliment :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Vellur!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Mhatter99, I think it must be awful to grow up not knowing your father. My father grew up not knowing his and that was the reason why he had tried his utmost best to be the best father he could possibly be for his children. Thank you for your visit :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Always Exploring, my dear Ruby, my reply to Mhatter99 also goes for you. Now how dare I complain about anything while there is people out there who never had a father, or who had horrible, incompetent fathers? Sorry, my dear Ruby. Please read my reply to Kelleyward as well. Lots of hugs from me to you :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

CrisSp ~ yes, definitely imperfect. Are there perfect daughters out there? I think perfect is a relative concept. For all I know I was perfect in my father's eyes, as he was perfect in mine. Thanks a lot for your visit and comment :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

teaches12345 ~ thank you for reading and commenting. My father as well as my mother actually established the foundation of my character. Comparing myself objectively to many others, I have no choice but to admit that they have actually done a great job. I'm not blowing my own horn, just stressing that thanks to my parents I am not a monster. Take care!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Suelynn. Take care!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Gypsy, thanks for coming over for the read and for your much appreciated opinion :))


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Martie, and what a profound hub this is.

I actually took my father to the hospital on father's day 1986, he passed away 6 weeks later. So, today is sort of sad for me, because, it brings back memories.... Your hub is truly insightful and intuitive. Nicely done.

John


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Dear Kathy, thank you so much for your touching and heart-warming comment. I often wonder who/what would I have been if nothing bad ever happened to me. I've learned so much in all unfortunate circumstances - and really not much in the fortunate ones - I realize, when I am totally objective, that I should be grateful. And I really am, because since a very young age I was able to encourage my friends not only by words, but by example, to overcome adversaries - to make lemon juice with the lemons Life give to us. Watching them doing it, gives purpose to my life and fills me with joy.

Yesterday, when I published this letter, I was quite down in the dumps - for a change - but I am out of it now and actually ashamed because I've shown a side of me not well-known to my friends - as if I had appeared in public dressed in my pajamas. I took another look at the letter and decided not to unpublish it, because walls between fathers and daughters are a common reality, and maybe this letter will convince a few fathers and daughters - and many others - to destroy the walls between them before it is too late.

Thank you, Kathy, for your friendship and support. I regard myself extremely fortunate to have a friend like you. I can give you the same compliments you have given to me and many more. Take care and be happy :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Kallini - what an eye-opener: "Martie, you kept the love." All of a sudden I see my issue in a different light. Deep in my heart I know my father loved me, I can simply not make peace with the fact that I destroyed the dreams he had for me. I wanted him to tell me (with words) that he still loves me in spite of....

Though he never TOLD me, he never stopped SHOWING me exactly that....

So, I wanted more....

I wanted him to boost my ego...

Goodness me, I am totally without words...

Anyway, ref your relationship with your father - I can but only say to you what I always say to my children: Never do anything you may regret. By not doing the right thing, you are jeopardizing your own peace and happiness.

So what is the right thing? Surely to love others as much as I love myself. Not more, not less, keeping the different ways people love each other - perfectly divined by the Greeks - in mind. I mean, we cannot EROS (make love to) every soul we meet. Lol! Agapé (respecting and honoring others) is another form of love.

We all find ourselves in unique situations. Every daughter has a unique relationship with her father and will know in her heart if there is a wall to be destroyed or not.

I once had a boyfriend (for 5 months) - a damn lunatic - who expressed his love for me with the following phrase: "Oh, I hate you, I wish you die!" He shocked the living daylight out of my children and grandchildren; I had to ask him to stop saying that in their presence. Point is, what we say is not always what we mean.

Thank you, Svetlana, you've given me something to ponder....

Take care!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi John, what a sad memory to face on Fathers Day! You have all my empathy. Thank you for your visit and kind comment. Take care :)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

What an amazing piece of writing that so many daughters can relate to. I was at turns smiling, nodding and deeply moved. This is a letter written by a loving daughter who recognizes her father's accomplishes and love, but also his weaknesses and how both affected her.

Simply beautiful.

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Happyboomernurse, thank you so much for your objective view on this poem and most inspiring comment. Take care, I'll see you soon in your corner. (I am so far behind with reading and commenting, but I will catch up as soon as I am done with the Hubville soapy. Oh, and just hope I don't get inspired to write another hub in between...lol!)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Just keep following your muse and writing while the inspiration is hot. You're in a wonderful period of creativity which is great to witness.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

A wonderful writing about your Dad and how you feel. It is a wonderful read and I enjoyed it so much.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you so much, Happyboomernurse. I really appreciate your encouragement :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

BobbyRant, my dear friend, long time no see, and it is so good to see you again in my corner. Thank you for your comment :}


haggard50 profile image

haggard50 4 years ago from Florida

If fathers only knew that their relationship with their daughters is immortal. If daughters only knew that their fathers aren't. Then we would keep all those loose ends tied. He has a much better view of you now. He sees your heart. He knows all the things you wanted him to know but were too proud or afraid to say. I don't know about you, but in retrospect I can see that I often got pride and fear confused.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

haggard50 - what an insightful comment! Thank you so much! Oh, I'm going to add your first 2 sentences to the hub - what a punch between the eyes!

And what an interesting FACT: we often confuse pride with fear...

Of course! And especially in my case 'fear of the unknown... fearing the results of our actions... fearing something we have never seen before, not knowing if it can kill us or not....

Then we also get what they call 'stage-fright'.... Maybe because you've forgotten your lines, or you haven't practice your role at all, or you are simply frozen because of being in a position where you could be criticized...

Thank you for poking my brains!


shalini sharan profile image

shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

hi Martie

i cannot express how i loved your hub, i lost my dad when i was four, i hardly remember a thing, reading this hub made me feel i would have felt the same had i spent more time with him, i miss my dad a lot and he was a doctor, that description in white coat ripped my heart.

my mother has supported me at all times but i wish dad was alive. your feelings are expressed very beautifully.

voted up and shared across


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Shalini, I cannot imagine what it must be like growing up without a father, and I am truly grateful that this was not my lot. However, I've noticed in many cases that a substitute did emerge to play the role of the people they had needed in their lives. Sometimes it was the mother playing the role of the father effectively, a teacher, a grandfather, uncle and/or even a stranger. Yes, we do get what we need - the challenge will always be to GIVE what WE need, and also already have, faithfully to others. (Love, guidance, protection...) Life/Nature seems to demand this and really plays the game of 'give and you will receive'. Though we seldom if ever receive from the specific person what we have given to him/her. Life is a game of sharing...

Thank you so much for your comment. Take care!


shalini sharan profile image

shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

your comment is much appreciated Martie! it encouraged me, indeed my mother has done a lot and never let me and my siblings immerse in the void that my father's death had created!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

shalini - what a beautiful description - ".... immerse in the void caused by the death of a beloved."

I take my hat off for your mother.

On my way to your page....


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Martie, what a Beautiful letter of Tribute to your Dad...I could feel the Love, and the Missing of a Wonderful Father and Friend. I will Always miss my own Father, who died much too soon. So much he never got to see. Thanks for sharing these Emotions, which I can relate to.


shalini sharan profile image

shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

thank you Martie, you are too generous and your appreciation encourages starters like us :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

b. Malin, good to know you could feel my emotions. I've written this out of my heart with no regards to the rules of creative writing. Now I can see many sentences in need of improvement.... But later, when I am over this intense hankering after my father. For sure we will never stop missing any of our beloveds who had passed away. While acquaintances fade in our memory, our beloveds seem to become clearer and more perfect, more divine.

Thank you so much for your supporting comment.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Dear shalini, don't let anybody ever discourage you to write :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

sorry you feel this way Martie - I feel the same way about my dad who was my best friend and mentor, and he died back in 1992 from cancer - a good man he was, something I strive to be but often fail at ....... lake erie time 6:12am


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Me too, Colin, often fail to be as good as my parents. Or that is how I FEEL. Fact is, you and I are good in our own way; people who love us do not see the 'failures' we feel inside of us. So let's lift our chins and be ourselves the best we can be.

BTW, your reply on my comment on your hub made me LOL-lol-LOL :}}


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

MARTIE! Your letter has me in tears. I am so jealous of the relationship you had with your father - even the "but..." moments that he always let you have. I can tell he was a wonderful man even with the incident of which you speak (but I do not know). He smiles down on you and knows you are proud and he is proud too. I know this for a fact because you are one of those people that others easily fall in love with and you make everyone better just for being who you are.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi my dearest Ardie, thank you for your lovely comforting comment. You are certainly one of the sweetest and most adorable hubbers I know. I will be in your corner soon to see what's cooking in there :)) In the meanwhile, take care!


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 4 years ago from Guildford

Martie this article so touched my heart. It really does make one realise how important it is to tell someone how much they mean to them and convey such love before it is too late. After all one never knows what is just round the corner.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

acaetnna - You are always so welcome in my corner. So often we have something on our hearts to discuss with somebody, and so often we don't have the courage, or we are simply too 'proud' to talk about it. When that person dies it is really hard to live with such a not-discussed issue on our hearts, because then we also know we will never get the opportunity to discuss it. Of course, we may not allow this to steal our joy; it becomes an issue to overcome over and over, as it never stops popping like a popcorn in hot oil when we expect it the least. Thank you so much for your comment.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Wonderfully poignant tribute to a father. Beautiful indeed, voted up!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you for your inspiring comment and votes, gmwilliams :)


pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

This is too beautiful. It has touched a tender part of my heart and soul. No words can express a greater love than yours . Thank you for sharing.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi pennyofheaven, thank you so much for your heartwarming comment :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Powerful, beautifully frank and lovely tribute. Your father must have been surely proud of his daughter.

Voted up, awesome and sharing.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you so much, rajan, for your encouraging comment. Take care!


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

My Father has been dead many years, but I still miss him. He was a giant in my eyes.

I'm glad I read this Hub on my Dad's Birthday, which is the same as yours. Happy Birthday!

Voted UP, shared.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Oh, Mary, and we just never stop missing them. I feel honored sharing a birthday with your dad... :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Beautiful tribute Martie, and at this time of year it always makes me think of my dad and all the others who we have lost. I still miss mine, and tear up every time I see his photo, wonderful.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

I am glad to re-read this a year later...thanks to Sunshine's share.

Sista, you are amazing, evolving and inspiring. I read Ronel's words and I know they are true.

Love you always, Maria


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Beautiful tribute to your father. I don't believe for one moment you were a disappointment to him. May be he couldn't express all his feelings and views of you to you, but I just don't believe he was ever disappointed in you. I know, I don't even know you that well, but I just have this certain feeling in my gut right now and I know I'm right. I love the photos! This makes me think of my own father who died ten years ago. I don't know if any of us ever live up to our parents expectations, but I know my dad wasn't disappointed in me. I love him so much and this tribute to your dad brings tears to my eyes.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

@ Nell Rose –

@ marcoujor –

@ suzettenaples –

Seeing this year-old hub shared in the group and your comments, was one of those unforeseen surprises – like seeing a ghost in the middle of the night. But a kind and friendly ghost, I realized after the initial shock :)

Strange, but life goes on while thoughts like these - I have shared in this hub - never leave the unconscious mind. Every one of them like words in an imperishable book.

When I think about my dad I am always amazed because my love for him is still like a burning, inextinguishable fire in my heart, but so are all the emotions I have felt for all people who have crossed my path. I am so grateful because the fires in me – that keeps my going – are 99% ignited by love and not hate.

And so, too, is my love for all my online friends a fire, keeping me warm and happy.

Thank you so much for your friendship, support and beautiful comments :)


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Just beautiful. I was blessed with a wonderful stepfather. I could not have loved him more. Even as a child I wanted to do well in school so I could make him proud (and he was proud of me).

Our Fathers are very special people in our lives.

I hope everyone will remember their Fathers this special day for them on Sunday.

Voted UP, etc.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Mary - good to know you were blessed with a wonderful stepfather. Sadly, too many biological fathers are total failures. I take my hat off for all fathers who compelled the love and respect of their children, and twice for wonderful stepfathers. Thank you so much for the votes :)


Vickiw 3 years ago

Hi Martie, I hope you don't mind - I am visiting some of your older Hubs, and this is particularly touching. I hope it was therapeutic for you to write. I am sure your Pappie must be so proud of you, your enthusiasm, your directness and your loving way of approaching life. I am so proud to have you as a dear friend.

Hugs, Vicki


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Vicki, I do think he was proud of me, but not as proud as he should have been. I did not have the time to make him as proud as he should have been. I've done things backwards. Stream-up. While my peers were students, jolling and cajoling, I was a wife and mother.... for 20 years before I took up the threads where I have left them. I started my formal studies at the age of 35 - just after my father's death, and ever since then I have achieved all the goals (and much more) he had in mind for me. So I will always feel sad about this, but I will not (again) sink into this sadness. You know, we have to accept reality, come to terms with whatever went wrong in the past. I have learned this the hard way during the 90's. Since 2001 I am okay, happy and grateful. At the end everything has turned out for the best. I am also proud to have you as a friend :) Take care, dear Vicki.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Your heartfelt tribute and open letter to your father is endearing and deeply touching. It speaks to so many of the things we loved and regret about our relationships with perhaps the most important man in our lives. His adoration is what shapes our choices in selecting a mate and all our lives we compare them to him.

I am certain that your Dad is very proud of you now and always. There are no words or human experiences we may have allowed to enter our lives that can take away their enduring love.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Peg, you are so right. Today's fathers are more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with their children. In my time, however, South African fathers were quite aloof, too busy to provide the most essential shelter and food. Fortunately I do understand why my father was not able to clear my uncertainties, and I know he would have done so if he was living in our current milieu. Thanks for you lovely comment.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working