Dear Dad


Happy Father’s Day. This is my sixth without you, and I’m still not used to it.

I’m getting married next month. I wish you could be there, even though you’d probably hate it. You’d hate having to do things on cue in a place that doesn’t allow smoking. Although maybe we would have gotten married in a park just to keep you from missing the whole thing for smoke breaks.

I’ve been wondering what song we would have danced to, but I get too sad and I can never follow that line of thought to a conclusion. It would have been a tough decision to make.

Clarence Clemons died yesterday. He had a stroke too. Is it weird I’m proud you died the same way as the Big Man? Yes. Yes it is. Sorry. [Also, I don't really believe in heaven, but I am having a ball right now imagining you and Mom playing bridge with Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici.]

And I think I just realized that we would have danced to the “drive all night” part from the Darkness Tour version of “Backstreets.” [Not the track off The River, because that blows] The lyric “taste your tender charms” is probably too sexual, but that problem plagues a lot of Daddy-Daughter Dances, and I’m willing to overlook it because “I’d drive all night, anytime, anyplace, just to buy you some shoes” is basically the Jersey Poet way of expressing your oft-stated Policy of “anything for my little Robin.”

It’s weird that you never met Collin. It’s weirder still that Collin never met you. I think you would have liked him, after you got over him not being afraid of you. And I want to say “Collin would have liked you, because he likes me so much,” but that is excessively complimentary to me.

You don’t know the man I’m marrying. You don’t know the President of the United States is black. You don’t know the resolution to the mystery in Season 2 of Veronica Mars. You don’t know I’m a lawyer.

You don’t know how much I miss you. And I don’t have the words to express it.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you.


  1. Oh, Robin. Crying for you. Big huge hugs.

  2. tears on my cheek…………it really sucks…..and i love you so…………..

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Robin. It was beautiful. I lost my dad died too, and I think about those moments and this day a lot. While I hate that other people have to go through this, too, it’s nice in a way to know there are other people who get it.

  4. This was difficult but beautiful to read. I’m sure it was much more the former to write. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share such a delicate, private thing with us.

  5. This was very beautiful. I think you are right that both your dad and Collin would have liked each other because you’re so important to both of them.

  6. And THEN you had to go and make me cry.

    Thank you.

  7. When I saw the title, I knew KNEW you were going to make me cry, but I read it anyway. I’m just glad I read it at home, before I put on my makeup.

  8. This was absolutely beautiful. I am a hot mess at my desk right now.

  9. Hey, Robin? That was beautiful, and I think you’re pretty amazing. And I DO believe in heaven, and I think your dad does know Collin and does know you’re a lawyer and is amazingly proud of all your accomplishments. I really do.

  10. Robin. He knows.

  11. “It’s weird that you never met Collin. It’s weirder still that Collin never met you.”

    This still makes me sad when i think about it. I wish I would’ve just gone ahead and introduced my dad and B. early on, even though we weren’t serious then and had barely started dating.

    Thanks for writing this; the details are different, but it echoes a lot of what I’d want to say.

  12. In tears. Big hugs to you.

  13. I know I’m a little late to the party on this comment but I just found this. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Last friday was the anniversary of my Collin’s Dad’s death. It is so difficult to have a wedding and join yourself together knowing such a big part is missing. I am in the process of grieving a father-in-law’s death that happened 8 years ago. I’m so angry and sad that I will never hear his voice. Thank you so much for sharing your side of this.

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