My Dad passed on in 1994, a few days before his 80th Birthday. His car was hit by a drunk driver and his life was over in an instant. I wrote this poem for him one Father's Day many years before and I'm so glad he really felt what I was saying and still longed for even though I was a young mother with five kids of my own by then.
He called me on the phone a few days later and asked if I'd like to take a long walk with him! I said yes, of course, but only on one condition: that neither of us would talk about our kids (he had two new ones from his second marraige)we'd just talk like we used to . . . just for this one time . . . about us, how we'd grown and were still learning to live. And . . . I added one more thing: "Can you put your arm around my shoulder, like you used to?" Guess what? He did it all! How blessed I was to have him.

I Will Always Love You, Dad

There's a little girl inside my heart
who still on Father's Day
is taken back to years ago
when both of us would play
a game of "who's my special girl?"
and "who's my daddy dear?"
I'd ride upon your shoulders high
and never have a fear.

Sometimes we'd walk for hours it seemed
around the reservoir
Forest Park or Highland . . .
we never traveled far.
But you were always there for me
when my young heart needed love
and someone who would listen
when the going got too rough.

And yes, it did get rough at times
as only you would know
but gosh, you were a trouper
and how I loved you so!
Although I'm not that little girl,
at least not on the outside,
there's still a little part of me
that somehow I just can't hide.

It's that part that's still your daughter
and though I've changed and grown,
the years that I did live with you
were the happiest I've known.
You really made me special
and gave me so much love
I'd like to give it back to you
but that wouldn't be enough.

I still need time to share with you
the person I am now,
the things I feel, the dreams I have
this space just won't allow.
You'll always be my father, yes,
but time is passing by.
So many things we haven't said,
there's times I want to cry.
I really miss you Daddy,
so much I want to say.
I'll have to make a date with you
and talk the night away.

Do you think that we can do it?
Do we need a reservoir?
Or will a cup of coffee do?
I really don't live far.

Joanne Cucinello . . . a long time ago.