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Thursday, September 8, 2011
A letter to my father 10 years later

By Kieran Darcy
ESPNNewYork.com

ESPNNewYork.com's Kieran Darcy lost his father, Dwight, in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Dear Dad,

Ten years ... it's been 10 years since we last spoke the night before that fateful morning. Three-thousand, six hundred and forty-nine days and counting without you -- that's a big number, yet it feels like even more.

I know, I know -- we talk every day; I just have to use a different organ to hear what you have to say. The ears don't work anymore, so I have to use my heart.

But I must confess, it's just not the same.

How are you? And how are Grandma and Grandpa, and Granddad, and Nana, and Aunt Claire and Uncle Donald, and Uncle Colum ... gosh, we've got quite a collection up there now. Please tell them all I miss them and think of them every day.

Kieran Darcy with father
Kieran and his father, Dwight, shared a special bond as New York sports fans.

Mom, Ryan, Deryn and I are going to a special memorial Mass at Fordham on Sunday. We figured you'd like that. I'm sure you still love the maroon and white.

That means we'll probably have to DVR the Giants-Redskins game -- so do me a favor, get a message to the powers that be not to let anyone give me any score updates during the day, OK? After all, it's the season opener!

I know you'll be watching. Do you still bark at the TV during games? That used to infuriate me, you know.

What I wouldn't give to hear you bark one more time.

As you know, I'm covering the Giants sometimes now, when I'm not covering college basketball. It was so hard not to be able to call you when I got hired at ESPN New York 18 months ago. It's the kind of job I dreamed about when I got out of Penn and joined ESPN back in 2000. You believed in me back then, more than anyone else -- even when I didn't quite believe in myself. Thank you for that -- I wouldn't be here otherwise.

I hope you at least have a good Internet connection up there so you can read what I'm writing. And by the way, why aren't you following me on Twitter yet? Come on, Dad -- I'm trying to get to 1,000 followers, help me out!

In all seriousness, getting this job was such a blessing -- one of many blessings I've received in the past 10 years. When you died, I must admit, life seemed pretty meaningless. I felt angry, and cheated. I wasn't sure I could ever be truly happy again.

And yet, I am. Life does go on, and it does mean something, and so many wonderful things have happened in the past 10 years. Mom is healthy and continues to be the rock of our family -- just as you told me she was long ago. Ryan is following in your footsteps, working at the Port Authority -- carrying on your distinguished legacy.

Please tell me heaven equals a La-Z-Boy recliner, the biggest flat-screen TV imaginable and a bottomless pint of Guinness, surrounded by all your family and friends.

And six years ago, I found the most amazing young woman to share the rest of my life with, a woman I know you would have adored -- even though she's an Eagles fan! I only wish she could have gotten to know you in person.

The job has given me a chance to spend my days (and nights) doing something I enjoy and actually make a living at it. In fact, it's given me even more than that. Three years ago, I got an assignment to write a profile of Chase Hilgenbrinck, a professional soccer player who decided to retire in the prime of his career to become a priest. After spending three days with Chase and his fellow seminarians at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md., I ended up re-embracing my Catholic faith.

God really does work in mysterious ways. After all, how else can you explain David Tyree's catch in Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots? If that wasn't divine intervention, I don't know what is.

I like to think you've had the best seat in the house for all those Yankees and Giants games the past 10 years. Please tell me heaven equals a La-Z-Boy recliner, the biggest flat-screen TV imaginable and a bottomless pint of Guinness, surrounded by all your family and friends.

And please save me a seat, 'cause I hope to join you there someday.

But I know I've still got work to do here, as hard as it is to be away from you. Got to try to be the best husband, son, brother and friend I can be. That's what you would have wanted. That's what you raised me to be.

And I've got another exciting season of college basketball coming up to write about. Yeah, Steve Lavin's really turning it around at St. John's -- another miracle, depending on whom you ask. I know you're pulling for 'em -- except when they play Fordham, of course.

Deryn and I have been married for just more than two years now. We're hoping to have children someday. So if you can put in a good word for us, I'd really appreciate it.

I think I'm ready. You taught me how to be a world-class father. You encouraged me to do my best in the classroom. You were at practically every basketball game, cross-country race and track meet. You loved me even when I really screwed up. And you supported every dream I ever dreamed.

The lesson may have been cut short, but I already know it's the most meaningful one you gave me.

A few weeks ago I found that Giants jersey I had begged you to buy me when I was little -- to this day the only jersey I've owned. You said I could get my own last name or the player's on the back. I chose "Darcy" -- remember how much I regretted that afterward?

Well, I don't regret it anymore. And I'm hoping it'll look good on your future grandson.

I love you, Dad. Talk to you tomorrow.

Forever your son,
Kieran

Kieran Darcy previously wrote about his dad for ESPN.com's Page 2.

You can e-mail Kieran at kieran.d.darcy@espn.com.