I have talked of my dad on this space. Mainly about coping with his death.
I remember when I started blogging (sometime back in 2006) I was visiting him in my home town and I tried to show him how to read my blog. I could tell immediately he was never going to remember.
Now, going on the 5th year of him no longer in this world — I think of him more often than I ever did. I’ve never really written about the dynamic I had with dad — because It’s tricky.
Dad and I always loved each other, very much so, but for a solid decade, pretty much his last decade, I didn’t like him. He accepted it as fact. I thought the “me and dad thing” was a small part of my life, and, because it was inconvenient to me, I kept it in the dark. Sure, we talked. But not often. Sure, I visited him. But not often.
Talking through what I needed from him, as my dad, articulates all the hurt and that is like looking in a magnifying mirror at my most ugly parts. The bad part of doing that now after he is gone is I hear only silence. Sometimes that silence is like ten tons on my heart.
In simplified hindsight, I can see how the privilege of reconciliation makes sense. Everything I didn’t like of him no longer matters, I loved him regardless. And that is a life lesson I learned the unfortunate hard way.
I’m still not the person I’m becoming, but the process has become the purpose. This mistake is something I don’t have the ability to make again. I catch myself thinking of my attitude and reminding myself how to live a more hopeful, resilient and mindful way.
I grieve. But who doesn’t? Anyone who has lost will grieve. But with my grief I ask myself the hard questions: Who are you? Which is also, who do you want to be? And who do you want to love?
I’m the person who will send an apology in just moments of the fight. I’m the person who says I screwed up, I made a mistake. I ask for help. I try to remember thank you and your welcome and I’m sorry. I even am more open to be at the edge of the cliff and says screw-it-I’ve-got-to-try. I try to give voice to the things that feel terrifying in their truth and importance.
I really try. That’s the point. I just wish my dad were here to tell him face to face what I have learned.