A Letter for Father’s Day: “Dear Dad”

By CARRIE STENSRUD

Dear Dad: I can see you sitting back in your chair with your hands folded across your belly and look on your face like, “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone. You have no idea how hard I have worked. You have no idea what I’m worth. You have no idea what it’s like inside these bones.” 

The truth is, I didn’t know what it was like to be you. Understanding someone deeply takes a lot of effort, empathy, and communication. But we were at a place that was enough.

Enough

By Danna Faulds 

It’s enough to offer love,
no matter how imperfectly
received or given. It’s
enough to try and fail
at a difficult task; enough
to fall and rise, stumble,
fall again, sigh and start
to walk, however slowly,
in the direction the soul
points. It’s enough to
seek peace and find pain,
to gain nothing but a
vision of the truth, and take
the long route home.

It’s enough to feel temptation,
the dance of the senses,
the hot pull of desire;
enough to call on God, walk
through fire, sleep and
cry and fear or welcome
dying. It’s enough to be
and breathe, to feel the
touch of wind on skin.

It’s enough to take the
day as it comes, to watch
the ripples on the lake as
the rock sinks to the
bottom, to see the wild
reflection of the surface
calm into a mirror once
again. It’s enough
to hear the voice of fear
and hide—or seek it out
and face the shame or
shadows. It’s enough
to set out to tame demons
and watch them multiply
instead. It’s enough to
be buffeted by the winds
of change and not blown
over. I and you and all
of us, more than enough.

We do miss you now that you’re gone. I instinctively started texts to you when I made it safely off the Salmon and out of the Bob Marshall. Your legacy is beautiful.

We sold your house to a young Montana couple with a toddler and a baby on the way. They love it and have plans to spruce it up a bit. We felt very protective of something you built yourself when you were able to climb up to the rafters and see it all come together with exquisite form. 

We went through everything. We touched all of your things and talked about the good ol’ days. We found meaningful homes for everything, from tonic to TVs. 

You would be pleased to know that the market is better than the last time you thought about selling.

Kelly has the shop buzzing with productivity. You know the sound. He installed the cabinets in the new Clinical Decision Unit at the hospital, and I just love telling everyone that they are Stensrud cabinets. 

He got a van and uses it instead of the big truck to make deliveries. I think you’d get a kick out of how much he loves that van.

The lake cabin was waiting for us in the spring. We aired it out and cleaned it up. There’s this thing called COVID going around, so we didn’t have much company. The kids and I took a swim every morning … a new ritual we call the morning dip! 

I swear when I dive off the dock and feel the one and only Flathead Lake on my skin, its like a transition back to another time. I feel Grandpa Howard washing and watching over me. I wish I could tell you thanks for all of the strategic moves you made to make sure the cabin was a family place forever. 

It’s a treasure, and I promise to take really good care of it.

We found your will in the safety deposit box and met with your attorney. We like how the f-bomb is a comfortable part of his vocabulary. 

He accused us of doing “cowboy math,” and, as soon as he said that, I knew we were on the right track. 

There are some loose ends to tie up, but the most important thing for you to know is that you are generously contributing to college accounts for each of your grandchildren.

The world is a hot mess, and these kids are the brightest spots we have. So thanks for giving them a shot at making things better. 

They all have a little bit of your cowboy spirit as well as a taste for the finer things. Speaking of a that, you did promise me crab legs at the Depot for my birthday. MSN