Allison Writes A Letter To Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being A Wallflower CoverSo, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
–The Perks of Being a Wallflower ~ Stephen Chbosky

 
Dear Charlie,

Life is strange sometimes. You can laugh at that because it sounds pretty cliché but it’s also very true. Life is also very unpredictable. I know that you know this better than anyone. You had so many things happen to you that you never expected thanks to your friends and your family. Some of these things were good. Others of them were bad. But regardless of what they were, they still happened, and they still impacted you in some way.

This is a level that I can relate to you on. Things have happened in my life that I really did not expect. I never expected to be part of a book review blog which has been a blessing in disguise. I never expected to be working with the elderly when I became an adult but honestly it has also been a blessing in disguise. I never expected to still be friends with the same people I met in pre-school or kindergarten but I am. I never expected to get my master’s degree and not know what to do with it but I did and I’m still trying to figure it out. Most importantly, I never expected to do all that I am doing without my dad being a part of it.

My dad passed away on June 20th, 2008 from complications from major back surgery. He had hurt his back in the late 80’s while he was working. He had surgery to fix the problem (so they thought) and returned back to his life as normal. After a long period of time, he started having back problems again. They started out small but soon grew bigger and more painful. He wound up having two more surgeries which elevated the pain for a period of time but ultimately did not solve the problem. It was time for more drastic measures, and it was recommended that my dad go and see a well-known neurosurgeon who recommended a complete reconstruction of my dad’s spinal column. It was a risky move and something that was to be done with the utmost caution and concentration but ultimately it was something that had to be done.

At the end of the day, my dad’s body could not handle the necessary surgery. It had been through enough in its life, and it was ready to let go. I think in a way that my dad knew it too. It was in the way that he prepared for the surgery, the things that he did which didn’t really hold any significance at the time but now I can’t seem to forget. And as much as it kills me not to have him with me, I know I wouldn’t want my dad to be in the level of pain he was in anymore. He was in pain 24 hours a day, and the pain medications just were not working for him anymore. He wanted more than anything not to be in pain anymore, and I can’t help but be a little thankful that he finally got his wish. Even if it meant him having to leave us.

I love my dad. He was an amazing man, a wonderful father to my brother and I, a loving husband to my mom, and a good friend to those who knew him. He was someone that so many people looked up to including me. He was my hero, and I miss him every single day. His death has impacted me in more ways than I could ever express. There are still times when I see something or hear something and think “I should tell Dad about that!” or “Or Dad would really like that…” and then it hits me and I remember. It has gotten easier though over these past four years and I am so grateful for the time that I had with him. And in many ways, I can still feel with him with me…

Dad and I

Thanks for listening to me.

Love,
Allison

Comments

  1. Allison, this was so beautiful & touching – I’m in tears! I’m so sorry your father has passed away. Life is unexpected, like you said, both good & bad. The small silver lining is that it sounds like you had a wonderful Dad – awesome must run in the family 😉 *hugs*

  2. I still can’t believe it’s been four years. <3

    Your dad was so cool. I remember staying over at your house once and talking to him about music - of all things. Anyways.

    Allison, you are good people. Don't ever forget that. <333333

    • You’re one of the good people too. I mean it. I know I wouldn’t have made it through that time without people like you in my life. You are always there for me, and I will always be there for you too. <333

  3. First, so sorry about your dad. I know that’s rough and I really admire you for sharing your story with us. My dad had heart surgery just under a year ago and I have never been more terrified when it comes to my parents.

    Secondly, I LOVE this concept of writing a letter to Charlie who is, without a doubt, one of the best characters written. I want to hug him every time I think about him!

    Thanks for this; it was very moving and touching and much needed today! I’m going to see my parents tonight and want to give my daddy an extra big hug!

    • Thank you Candice. I’m really glad that I wrote the letter. It just kinda flowed out of me, you know? I loved the character of Charlie, and it felt so appropriate to write to him, and share a part of my story just like he shared parts of his. 🙂

  4. Caitie F says:

    Allison, that was so beautiful and touching. Your dad sounds like an amazing person and I know he must have been – he raised a wonderful, kind, smart, and loving daughter. <3

  5. What a moving tribute to your dad and your growth, Allison. It’s amazing how events like this can shape us, and continue to challenge us and our beliefs forever. I’m sure he would be proud of the lady you became.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us today. xo

    • Thank you Estelle! I’m really glad I decided to share this with all of you. The words came so easily for me and it just felt like it was the right thing to do. 🙂

  6. Oh, Alison! This is so touching. Thanks for sharing. Did you submit this to the Dear Charlie Tumblr?

    I could relate to so much of what you’re going through. I made a drastic career shift that required a second master’s when I didn’t know what to do after the first round of grad school. And I lost my dad as a teen due to a long suffering medical condition. It’s been almost 15 years, and I still have those “dad would like this” or “I should tell him about…” moments. I hope they don’t ever die; I cherish each one.

    • Thank you, Molly! I hope I never lose the “dad would like this..” or “I should tell him about…” moments either. I cherish all of them, and they make me think about him and how much he still means to me. 🙂

  7. Oh Allison, this is SUCH a beautiful way to pay tribute to your father. He sounds like he was an amazing man, and I’m sure he’d be proud of who you are and what you’re doing with your life.

  8. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    Losing a parent is tough. Seeing them live through the pain is hard, but so is losing them suddenly, too. My heart goes out to you, Allison <3 You speak so eloquently and I admire that in you. I'm sure he does, too.

  9. This is such a touching letter, thank you for sharing it. I’m sorry about your father, losing a family member is tough. Life can be can be unexpected and it’s always heartbreaking when the unexpected is bad.

  10. I LOVE THIS.
    Thank you for sharing and for having such a heartfelt and open response to this book.

  11. Wow, loved this. Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. OH ALLISON.

    Everytime I read more of your words, I feel like I know you a little bit more, and that just grew by leaps and bounds. This is an absolutely marvelous and very public way to say something from your heart, and I absolutely cherish the fact that I am able to be a part of it simply by reading it.

    Also, I love that picture that you shared!

    I absolutely cannot wait to meet you in person. You are so far at the top of my list. It will be an honor come May. <3

    Asheley

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