I miss my Dad. every. single. day.
Its been 5 years but really, if I’m honest I haven’t even begun to wrap my head around the fact that he is gone.
If I could rub a magic lamp and have only one wish granted to me in my entire life, it wouldn’t be for fame or fortune. It would be to see him again, even just for 2 minutes.
I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self this. The teenage self that was wrought with anger, fear and the feelings of not enough love. The self that withheld my love from him as punishment, at age 16, 18, and again at 25. That part of me that thought that if I cut him off and out of my life I could somehow avoid feeling the pain that our relationship brought me at times as a young confused girl. A girl that was still reeling from my parents divorce several years before.
Turns out the one I punished was myself.
Little did I know that the only regret I would have in my life was the regret of not spending that time with him, of not trying to love him despite his flaws, and not allowing him to love me in the ways that he knew how to.
Even though he is no longer with me in the physical plane, I know he is with me in other ways.
When I look down at my hands and see his hands, and my heart swells with pride.
When I’m feeling lost in the world and one of our songs comes on my Pandora: Bobby McGee or Tiny Dancer or California Dreamin and I’m transported back to a time when it was me and him, singing and playing the guitar, laughing our hearts out.
During Christmas every year, I remember the Christmas of 2003. It wasn’t the only Christmas we spent together, but it was the most meaningful. He was Sober and doing deep work in therapy, and we were having some adult, raw and honest conversations.He later told me that it was the best Christmas he ever had in his whole life, and I would have to agree with him.
Whenever I eat spicy food and chicken wings
When I see photographs or look in the mirror and see his face in my face!
When I’m feeling small in a social situation, intimidated and afraid to speak up and take up space in the room, I remember how much space he took, and how much everyone loved him, How much I looked up to him, and wanted to be like him because by being that big he made everyone feel so good.
He is always with me, nudging me to do better, to open up my heart. To let people in and offer forgiveness and love even when I feel hurt and pain. To accept others exactly as they are, and to stand in my big-ness even though it feels scary. To KISS (Keep it simple stupid). To forgive myself for that one regret I have, for that time wasted in anger at him because I was only doing my best. He was doing his best.
We are all doing our best.
I miss my Dad, but I feel so lucky to have known him in this lifetime as MY Dad, so lucky and so proud.