Football Sunday, Ohio—

Hey Dad. It’s me. Megan. 

I’m thinking of you as I do often. Especially on days like today, when our team is about to play. This is when I feel the most connected to you. It’s also when I miss you the most. But my friends are cool when I talk about you, like noting which plays you’d be impressed with, and what calls would have you shouting at the TV.

You loved three things: 

  • The Cincinnati Bengals
  • Being a park ranger at Buck Creek State Park 
  • And me 

Not in that order, of course. You always made sure I knew that I was your #1.

White male sits in chair whole holding his baby daughter

You would have done absolutely anything for me. While you might have complained or said no at first, nothing stopped you from making your little girl happy. 

You did so much for me, Dad. Like my taxes, haha. I guess it’s funny that I became an accountant. I can hear you saying, “I told you so,” because as you were well aware, it runs in the family. All jokes aside though, you literally took care of everything so I could focus on school. You supported me in everything I did and ever wanted to do. 

And honestly, after you passed, I discovered just how selfless you truly were. You shielded me from a lot of stuff, and you raised me to be successful by instilling values of hard work and responsibility. You taught me to be independent and to have confidence in myself, too. And most of all, you taught me that, no matter what, I’m going to be okay. Remember my first breakup? I moped around the house for weeks; you didn’t know what to do with me until finally, I sat beside you and put my head on your shoulder. “You’re going to be okay,” you told me. I’ve carried that with me ever since. Whenever I’m having a hard time, I think of that moment and I realize that I’m going to be fine. 

while male helps infant daughter stand up

I also found out how much you bragged about me to your friends. About how great I was doing. About how proud you were of me. I was your world…which is sweet to think about. I was three when Mom died, so it was always you and me, and we were enough for each other. 

Last year when the Bengals made it to the Superbowl. I would have given anything for you to have been watching the game with me. There are a lot of those “I wish you were here” moments. 

Now, in a way, you are. A piece of you, anyway.

Girl toddler in orange Pocahontas tent with her doting father

I couldn’t part with all of your ashes. That felt too final. So, I scattered some in Las Vegas. Some I kept. And some I sent to Eterneva to create something beautiful and tangible for me to hold onto. My Eterneva Diamond is just over 1-carat. It’s cushion cut and yellow—because you loved the sunshine. I wear it every day. It’s not only a reminder of you, it’s also a conversation starter. When people ask me about it, I get to tell them, “This is my dad,” and share about the amazing memories we made together. 

The process of creating the Diamond itself was remarkable. I felt so loved by everybody. They really care. It’s not just a transaction, it’s a whole journey. I just felt so taken care of. Without you and Mom, I was lost. Eterneva gave me a piece of you to carry with me. I have you close again, and that’s all I ever wanted.  

Silver ring with yellow diamond rests on granite countertop

Dad, I just want to say thank you for the incredible life you built for me. For your unconditional love and support. Because of you, your little girl is going to be okay. 

Now “Who Dey,” let’s watch some football.