i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Where is my father?

Where is my father?

Where is my father? He died on March 17th, 1998. He was cremated and put in an urn. His wife, who is not my mother, has his ashes. After he died she took his old dog to the veterinarian and had it put down, had a yard sale without telling me and my brother, sold the house he left her in the will, the house we grew up in, and  moved with no forwarding address.

The last time I saw him, he was dead, covered with a white sheet pulled up to his chin, in a private room in the hospital. The nurses had combed his hair straight back from his forehead, black, gray,shiny. The strands separated into rows the same width as the black plastic comb on his bedside table. I asked for a few minutes alone with him.

I kissed his forehead.

He was cold. His skin was like a layer of moist paper on top of a rock, as though it had separated from the skull. There was no breath of life in the skin.I took a pair of scissors out of my pocket and cut a strand of hair from the back of his head. I lost the piece of hair.

Where is my father?

Today is Father’s Day. I remember him.

I know where my father is. He is in my mind. He is in my stories. He is in my hands as I write.

This morning I looked through letters he had mailed to me when I lived in Japan.

I found a  poem he wrote  me on the back of a letter he send me on March 4th 1986.


Have I told you lately
that I care
about WHERE
your footsteps fall
When you follow
night birds wing
for heart treasures
Have I told you lately
that I listen
for your footsteps
to return
to my garden
and help me
find a rose
for your ear.

March 4,1986 WHF, Daddy

Daddy, I can not return to your garden. You can not hear my footsteps. This morning I will find a rose and put it behind my ear.

I miss you Daddy. I know where you are.

You are in my heart.



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Debbie Beddows

    Of course or he wouldn’t of written a lovely poems or letters the step mother must of been jealous of the love u both had and even thou he’s gone u feel his love she proberly can’t xx

  • Debbie Beddows

    What a lovely poem a daddy’s love and daughters love is unbreakable, as his daughter will carry his love on her heart like a locket and it can never be taken away xxx

    • Thank you Debbie. I know my dad loves me.

  • Janelle

    A beautiful story, Pamela. He left you words, I think.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Janelle. He did. I didn’t realize the treasure I have is his letters.

  • Beautiful. Hope you found a rose.

    • I did. In the front yard on my daughter’s rose bush.Thank you Anne.

  • kathunsworth

    Pamela so beautiful and the poem is your gift, he is with you always.

  • Brianna Wasson

    Pamela, what a beautiful tribute. What a beautiful memory.

    • Thank you Brianna. I found an envelope of all the letters he wrote me when I lived in Japan. I didn’t remember that I saved them. They are full of poetry he wrote me on the back of the letters.

      • Brianna Wasson

        What an amazing gift he gave you in those. I’m so happy you get to have those for always. To remember and hold.

  • Brad V

    Moving, tender, strong with truth and love. Great remembrance, Pamela.

  • Your writing moves people. I’m sorry he never got to know you, Pamela.

    • Oh dear. Now I see why we have people read our stories to make sure our message is clear. I grew up with my father. My parents divorced when I was had already left home. He remarried in 1992 when I was 34.

      • Oh, that might be my fault. Maybe I misunderstood, somewhere. Anyway, maybe it’s too bad his wife never appreciated you.

  • Lotta Wanner

    Dearest! You are so brave! What beautiful love you hold for your father! I am sure he is very happy about that and helps you to choose joy, every day. ❤

    • Thank you Lotta. I love my daddy. I choose Joy today.