We Will Not Forget

For My Father, Michael Opperman
By: Elizabeth Opperman

Dear Dad,

It's so difficult to begin a letter of which I already know the end of, especially when there are so many emotions I feel I need to include. But I'll do my best. I think you already know that I love you. You should know that I always will. Even when I was young I knew that you were one of the few great people in this world. You would do anything for your family and you spoiled me worse than a princess, but hey, I'm not complaining.

I fondly remember us all sitting together in the living room, you usually took to the floor because you wanted everyone else to be as comfortable as possible. I remember you with your huge bag of Wise brand popcorn. I loved popcorn, but I only ate the puffy parts and would sneak the kernel-infested sections back into the bag when I grabbed another handful. I think you always knew I did that, but you didn't mind and would eat them all the same. All that mattered to you was the happiness of your family, even down to simple things like popcorn pieces.

Even when I was young I knew that you were one of the great people of this world, someone few and far between. I haven't forgotten that and I never will. You'll forever be my wonderful Daddy: hiding behind the camera on vacations, laughing, making the rest of us laugh, finding time for all the necessities and always full of love. While I wish that you were still here, I know that you've been watching over us. I know that you're proud of the whole family. Mikie has grown into a great man who also loves to spoil those dear to him, again, not complaining. Mom has done a brilliant job raising me since you passed. She has dealt with more than I could ever imagine, but always manages to be strong. She is the perfect role model for me and I know you must be very proud of her and hopefully proud of me as well.

At this time I'm only a year away from finishing college; I'm an English major. Your memory and your passing always ignite within me an urge to write. I want to write to express, to help, to just live through words. On top of that I just have an overall love of life, I have a passion for living and I hope to do it to its fullest. And even though you were taken from us so early, I'd like to think you lived a very full life too.

I hope you know that your memory will always remain with me and I will never forget this love I have for you. I'll never forget you. You still drive me to succeed, to make the right choices and to be happy in my life. I miss you, but I know what's happened is irreversible. I can only move forward with the blessing that I know you would give me. I'll never have another father. I would never need a replacement. Your memory is strong enough for me to hold onto and with that I will make you as proud as you could be. My boyfriend, Mike, would be one of those choices you would have every reason to be proud of. I love him, the whole family loves him and you would love him too. In fact, I know that from afar you do love him, that you love us and are with us always.

I miss you and I love you, but I will continue to live my life to every extent. I thank you for everything, past and present. You'll always be in my heart.