Two years ago this very day I was in Amarillo spending the last birthday he would ever have with my dad. Well, actually, yesterday was that day. My kids and I drove up from Dallas to surprise him. Three kids in a Jeep Compass on a six to seven hour drive. And the smile on his face when I walked in the door…I will never forget my dad’s smile. I didn’t write this yesterday because I couldn’t. Some days the Missing Him is fine while other days the rend in my heart is opened fresh. Yesterday I felt ok, until I didn’t. So I distracted myself as best I could but it meant I completely stayed away from the computer checking in only once and that was with my brother. And it was something my brother said that made me stop and brought everything back, and I think, in that moment, I started to heal. My brother had posted on Facebook a message to dad and I responded with how glad I was that Allen got to have him. You see, I didn’t.
My mom moved me seven hours away and I got to see him only thirty days out of every year until I was 16 and had to begin working to help my mom pay bills. Yes, at any point he could have come down to see me, and he did a few times. And yes, at any point, my mother could have sent me up for one Christmas (which she did not). And yes, as an adult I tried to get up to see him as often as life would allow. But time keeps moving like an ocean and there’s never enough time to spend with those you love. And like an unexpected wave, you get caught up in all the meaningless minutia fighting to catch your breath until you realize…all you have to do is put you feet down on the ground and push yourself up and out. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s too late and you can’t go back. And so, I am so very glad and grateful that my brother got the time he did. There is not one day that goes by that I am ever resentful or jealous, although there was a moment deep in the night on which dad left us where I was hurting so badly that I wrote a poem, a very powerful piece, where dark thoughts and grief had taken over. Fortunately, the piece ended up being erased when the app I wrote it in updated and took the poem with it to some digital black hole. I’m very glad it did. It isn’t in me to be that way, and I was hurting, and knew it.
I love my dad. He was my first true love. He will always be my first true love. Nothing can ever change that.
What my brother responded with, after I replied to his message to dad was this:
“oh sis, if you only knew you always had him at least his heart anyways. He always had you on his mind and never went a day that I know of with out saying your name.”
I love you daddy. Forever then, and always.