“My Last Letter to Dad,” Ensign, Aug. 1995, 66
One evening several years ago as I sat watching television with my husband, I felt the Spirit prompt me to leave my comfortable place on the sofa and go into the den.
As I wondered what my purpose was, I began to think about my father, who lived some two thousand miles distant. In my mind I visualized his bright smile and recalled his cheerful nature. I remembered how his eyes sparkled as he solemnly testified of the Savior and how he had spent many long hours in his life serving in Church callings and working at the welfare farm. Smiling, I recalled how young children at church would surround him, waiting impatiently for his small ball to disappear by magic only to reappear in their ears or under their chins as they laughed in delight.
Finding pen and paper, I began writing a letter to my father recounting experiences and lessons he had given me through the years. Tears streamed down my face as I expressed my gratitude for his efforts and sacrifices in behalf of his family and the Lord.
When I finished my letter, I sensed that I had accomplished something very important. I mailed it immediately.
Just a few weeks later, my sister called with the painful news that my father had suffered a stroke and a heart attack and was lying unconscious. His doctors reported that it would be only a matter of hours until his time on this earth came to a close.
I was shocked. What would we do without him? How could I bear the pain of his leaving? I didn’t have enough time to travel home to see him alive. Couldn’t I be given just one last chance to put my arms around him and tell him again how much I love him?
In the midst of my sorrow I remembered my recent letter. My spirits lifted and I felt peace as I realized that I had expressed to my father one last time in this life my feelings about him. I didn’t know the Lord’s purpose at the time, but I appreciate now the great blessing he gave me by prompting me to write that heartfelt letter.