Another year. Another Father’s Day.
I’d like to say that each year it gets easier, seeing as I still have many wonderful father figures in my life. A few uncles, in-laws, a grandfather, and a husband who is truly the best father I know.
But there is still a void; an empty space in my heart that only my father’s love could ever fill.
I sat here tonight, sifting through pictures, becoming increasingly sadder as I realized that I have so few of just him and I together. The only decent ones I could find were taken when I was very young. As the photos piled up, I berated myself for looking like such an angry teenager in so many of them, seemingly unwilling to put an arm around him or sit by him at the dinner table.
Which is completely unfair, because my dad and I had so many fun and silly times together. We enjoyed the same things: music and movies and video games, deep conversations and lots of laughs. He was the one who taxied me and my friends around, and never acted like it was too much trouble.
He was my biggest fan for a long time. I could always count on him to offer encouragement when others wanted to nay-say. When I was scared shitless to bring home a less-than-stellar report card, he let me know it was all good, as long as I tried my best. When I needed to hear some positive feedback on something I wrote, he would read every word, and then tell me that I was a natural.
My dad never judged me. He never told me I needed to do anything differently. He loved me for exactly who I was, attitude and all. He was a great dad, and I took him for granted. Despite all of these wonderful memories, my heart is heavy. I just miss him so damn much. And it hasn’t gotten easier, not one bit.
Sure, it’s nice to hear people say, “don’t worry, he knows”. It’s pleasant to think that he is somewhere out there in the next dimension, smiling and fully aware of the woman I’ve become. That he gets to watch his granddaughter grow from a comfortable, painless place.
Of course, I don’t really wish he was here, trapped in a body that would never be well. So for that reason alone, I’m able to feel my emotions and then let them go.
It’s these moments of reflection, when I revive his legacy and smile through tears that I understand how lucky I really am for the 20 years that we had together, regardless of how I wish I may have done some things differently. A huge part of who I am today can be attributed to him. His undying love for his family, his desire to just have fun, his ability to be resilient despite the awful hand he was dealt… I can tap into those parts of me anytime I want.
So I will.
Cheers, Dad! Thanks for the love.