Title: Articulate Tears
I've always wondered why people wait until funerals to say what they liked about a person. I hate to hear stories of people who live their whole lives in regret because they never told a certain person that they loved them.
It was like that with my father.
My dad was never one to tell me that he loved me. And since he didn't do that, I feel like I never really knew him.
My mother says that I'm a lot like him, though, and to a certain extent that scares me.
So, I try to be a good dad.
It's never been easy; even in the good times things happen, but I've never regretted it.
It didn't hurt being married to the amazing Abbey Bartlet.
With three daughters, our house was never quiet.
I seriously know more about make-up and Seventeen Magazine than any male should ever know.
Elizabeth, Ellie and Zoey are absolutely priceless to me. There is nothing on this earth that I would trade for them. And they know that.
Or at least, I thought they did.
Ellie's always been hard for me to understand. I think it's because she always understood things so quickly. She's incredibly perceptive, usually more so than I am, and that's hard for me to swallow. She seems to know truth that no one dares to speak, and then speak it for him or her. She has boldness and tenacity coming out her ears.
It's hard for a parent to admit that their child would be better at their job than they are.
But I am so proud of her.
The whole issue with Danny Concannon and Millie was a real eye-opener. I knew that she didn't like me as much, but I had no idea that she thought I wasn't proud of her.
I've never felt so ashamed and like so much of a failure in my life.
When she had gone back to Johns Hopkins, Abbey and I sat in our bed and looked through old photo albums of our kids growing up.
Then she held me as I cried.
I know it's hard to imagine the President crying. It's almost like we're not allowed to be human. But trust me, I know all too well the price of hiding your emotions.
I was 24 when my father died. My mom was going through his things when she found a letter that he had written to me on the day that I was born.
That was the only time my father ever told me that he loved me.
Abbey held me when I cried then, too.
When Liz was born, I promised that I would tell her everyday that I loved her. That the day would not end without a declaration of love.
It worked, for a while.
And then she started to make me angry. Not her, of course, just her actions.
And then I could barely choke out the words.
But we both knew I meant them.
With Ellie, it was harder. She didn't seem as receptive. I never knew if she cared or not.
It would be years before I knew that a girl always cares when love is concerned.
Zoey's always been my baby. And I'm sure that there are times when she could kill me for it. But, somewhere deep down, I'm sure she's thankful.
I know I sleep better knowing she's surrounded by expert marksmen.
Definitely one of the perks of the job.
When I was lying on that hospital bed right after Roslyn, and she came into talk to me, I knew that I had to tell her.
Just in case I didn't make it out, I had to tell her that I loved her. So I did. Right after she told me.
If you ever want to know how to make someone feel safe and secure, remind him or her that someone loves them. That they are cared about and that they are valuable and priceless.
That's what I told Abbey every day. Even when we were so mad at each other we couldn't see straight, I told her.
And I'll still tell her.
Even though she isn't here to hold me when I cry anymore.
I hate how people wait until funerals to say what they really mean.
I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't do that, not with my wife. And I didn't.
So now that the day is here, when I need to stand before the nation and tell them what I loved about my wife, I'll simply say things that I've told her countless times before.
But who will hold me when I cry?