My Father Jim Dunek passed away a little over a year ago. Missing his wisdom and guiding hand, I wrote him this letter:
How is it in heaven?
How do you spend your time?
You were always a big horseracing fan, so I am assuming that the track up there has all the greats running: Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Man o’ War. Must be a great racing card in heaven.
Blackjack was something you enjoyed. Of course, you learned how to count cards and crushed the casinos here on earth to the point they kicked you out and banned you from playing anymore. I hope the pit bosses up there are a bit more tolerant.
Football Sundays were always special for you. I would imagine Vince Lombardi is coaching a team up there, and your favorite Chicago Bears players are giving him a good game.
Did you take up golf? The course in heaven must be spectacular. Probably Augusta National on steroids. You took me golfing once when I was a little boy. We got up at the crack of dawn and I caddied for you. Your score wasn’t very good but I sure enjoyed hanging out with you for a few hours.
Did you find anyone to play gin rummy with? It was always one of your favorites. You would talk incessantly about nonsense so I couldn’t remember what cards you took from the pile. And on the rare occasions I would get lucky and I would beat you, you always paid me. But when you won, you would never accept the money. We sure had some fun times together playing cards.
Are you sitting around the kitchen table talking politics with Uncle Hugh? Is Aunt Opal cooking you bacon and eggs? Are Grandpa Clem, Audrey, and your sister Pat keeping you company?
You would be proud of your son Mike. He has turned into such a fine man. Happily married and father of three girls and a grandfather to four beautiful grandchildren.
And my four daughters miss you so much. They miss their birthday cards with the checks inside of too. You never forgot. And they will never forget you. My wife Terri still cries when she thinks of you being gone. You were like a real father to her.
Sorry to take up so much of your time Dad. I’m curious about what it is like up there.
But come to think of it, time must be plentiful in heaven.
I guess I am up next, but excuse me for not being in a hurry. So much to do with whatever years I have left.
This feeling of mortality has given me an appreciation of time. I don’t waste any days anymore, trying to squeeze the juice out of every second.
Hope I make you proud Dad. And keep a seat open for me.
It’s my deal.