Monte: A daughter’s tribute to Lee Bandy

Guest ColumnistOctober 22, 2013 

Ms. Monte lives just outside Washington with her husband and their three children; this was adapted from a piece she posted on Facebook early Sunday morning about her father, longtime State political reporter Lee Bandy. You can leave condolences for the family at


It’s 4 in the morning, and I’m sitting next to you listening to you breathe. Each breath is slow and weak, and it won’t be long before you’re gone. It won’t be long before your warm hand turns cool in mine. I’m tired, but I can’t sleep, so instead I’m writing you this letter.

Thank you for being a truly magnificent man. You loved others so well, and I’m honored to be your daughter. I learned so much from you — most often by your actions rather than your spoken word. I witnessed your unfailing love, gentleness and genuine interest in others time and time again.

Daughters need strong and loving fathers, and God blessed me with you. Thank you for always loving me without fail. Thank you for leaving me with great memories.

Thank you for coming to my swim meets and encouraging me to have fun and to just do my best. I can’t remember a meet without you there.

Thank you for saying prayers with me each night at bedtime. Thank you for waking me up in the mornings in your weird, silly way. What does “up and Adam” mean anyway?

Thank you for the days you would allow me to skip school so I could go to work with you. What a treat it was to hop on the subway with you, to sit next to you as you read The Washington Post. I can still hear you say, “You should always stay informed and read the newspaper.” I loved hanging out in the press gallery of our nation’s Capitol building, watching you type and make endless phone calls. And at lunch time we would eat together on the Hill — at either Two Quail or Cafe Berlin. I loved those restaurants.

Thank you for writing me letters once a week without fail when I was in college. They were never long or wordy but just enough to let me know that you were thinking of me and that you loved me. I loved that you typed those letters, because I knew you typed them at the office after a long day at work.

Thank you for meeting me for lunch the day my heart was broken. You called me at work and told me you were coming. I wasn’t in the mood for conversation, but I couldn’t say no to you. I don’t even remember many words being spoken; I just remember crying and you being there with me.

Thank you for setting a godly example. I’ll never forget all those mornings I would see you in your chair reading your Bible and praying. Sometimes I would hear you pray out loud, but it wasn’t because you wanted anyone to hear. You were simply pouring your heart out to God. And I knew I was included in those heartfelt prayers.

Thank you for worrying about me. You would express to me your concerns or disagreement when I was headed down the wrong path but always in a gentle manner. I can’t remember a single time that you yelled or even raised your voice.

I have many more fond memories of you, but I’ll stop here. I want to read this to you now — while your hand is still warm in mine.

I love you


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