Letters from Me, Day 1: Edward D. Clark, Queensbury, NY

Dear Dad,

I was lying in bed last night, thinking about what my life will have been like when I look back 30 or 40 years from now. What will I treasure? What will I be glad I did? What will I wish I did more of?

What sprang to mind immediately is the joy I take in communicating with those that I love.

Now, it's 2015. There are dozens of ways to communicate with people. Phone calls, video chats, instant messages, emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, Snapchats, photo messages, perhaps a fax? Or a pager message? What I'm saying is, I could put my energy into any one of these ways to get in contact with folks, but the one I love the most - the one I've always loved - long before the days of even email - is the letter.

There's nothing like getting an envelope in the mail that is addressed to you, in someone you love's handwriting...and it's not a solicitation, it's not a bill, it's not boring, it's not trash. It's something they wrote just for you, to tell you about their life and what they're feeling and thinking and to ask you what's going on in your life. It's one of the best feelings on this earth.

And when I look back at my life when I'm 60 or 70 years old, I know I will treasure the time I spent writing and receiving letters from the ones I love.

So I am embarking on a year long campaign to write one letter everyday for 365 days. They don't have to be long or detailed - they can be typed or handwritten - on paper or on a card or postcard. But I will write one per day. I calculated I will be spending at least $160 on postage alone. But I think that's a worthy investment, don't you?

Now I have to go about picking who to write to for the next 365 days. And if a reply counts as a new letter...and if I'm going to count Christmas cards (I probably won't.) This all brings me to the best news of all...

When I thought of all of my loved ones - friends and family near and far - I decided that I wanted to start this letter writing campaign with my very favorite pen pal of all - my dad.

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I know we haven't always been the best of friends. When I was younger, we went through some rough patches. I didn't always want to listen to you, and I tended to be stubborn in more than one way...I get that from you! We had our share of fights and disagreements. But I knew deep down - right from the start - you were my dad, a great dad, and one of the people I love the most on this earth.

Now, today, I don't get to see you as often as I'd like. I moved 5 hours away to pursue a career I've always wanted in advertising, to live a life in the city that I so deeply desired, to eventually meet the love of my life. I am happier now, in 2015, in Philadelphia, than I have ever been in my life. But it doesn't change the fact that I am still 5 hours away and I'm lucky if I get a few days every other month or so to spend with you and Mom.

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Those moments are another true collection to treasure. When I turned 30, the truth of mortality hit me hard. Our time to spend with one another is finite, and everyone we love will eventually pass away. It has been more apparent to me than ever that I need to prioritize spending time with my family because our time together - in the grand scheme of things - is short. We spent 18 years being together all of the time. And then another few years close by. I think we took a lot of that time for granted.

But now, we can truly appreciate and enjoy every moment that we get together, each and every time.

Let this be my solemn vow that I will always be there for you, always keep coming to spend time with you as much as I can, always be just a phone call away, always keep you in mind when writing my letters, because you are and will always be my favorite Papa, my beloved Father, my one and only Dad.

I love you, Dad. Write back soon.

Love,

Amanda