1.180 – I Love You, Dad

“……., it’s Sabrina. I know we’re not talking but daddy’s dead. I need you to call me. Please. He’s dead. Just call me. Please.”

A year ago, today, those words lingered on a voicemail I wish I’d never received. A deliverance from a god I don’t believe in. A curse sent down from somewhere, a blatant sign of thievery, a shattering of my heart. One that would send me into an outcry as I ran from a bathroom stall on my fifteen minute break at work. One that would send me running through the back of the store, screaming “help me.” One that would leave me a collapsed lump of sobbing meat…a dying soul.

Anyone that knows me knows that my father was the light in my life that kept me alive…the one who believed in me despite the odds stacked against me. My father loved me by pure choice. He didn’t have to. He could have walked away at any time. And he stayed. He loved with his whole heart, was obsessed with technology and prided himself in being the most badass, metal rocking, piercing toting, sarcastic “jew-ban” known to man. He was a finger tapping, finger snapping, perverted, hilarious culinary master. He was a man who kept his word, who believed in love and forgiveness more than I could understand throughout my life. He was passive to a fault but a gentle soul that, at the end of the day, just wanted to be loved.

Dad’s Birthday Card #1 ~ Signed by everyone in a local bar

“You’re a good man, a good dad, and you are loved…today and every day.”

I’ve shed tears today. I’ve watched my son play and laugh and color and enjoy the motions of his life. I was lost in a heap of emotions…a sort of fog. And then my son came up to me, just about ten minutes ago and said “up.” I picked him up and he pointed to my fathers urn. I said, “that’s grandpa.” He said “hi grandpa.” I said “grandpa loves you.” He didn’t miss a beat. “I love grandpa too.”

I was going to write about how much it hurts without my father here to support me, to guide me, to enjoy life with me. But that’s the thing about this journey. What I intend it to be can change in the blink of an eye. And with my son greeting his grandpa and saying he loved him…I am inspired.

To give my son the love my father gave to me…tenfold. To love with my whole heart. To keep my promises. To mean what I say and say what I mean. To be forgiving. To be understanding. To be patient. To be compassionate. To have empathy. To learn from my child. To grow with my child. To evolve. To savor and encourage the beautiful imagination and spirit of the amazing boy who rules my world. To accept my truest emotions and to follow my heart. To keep my son at the forefront of my existence, no matter how hard the days may be and to know…my light has not left me. It shines brightly…in my memories, in the love of my family, in the beauty and joy of my son.

Dad’s Birthday Card #2 ~From his daughters

“Because her father listened to her, she knew she had something to say. Because he believed in her, she believed in herself. Because he said she could do anything, she did…

Dad, so much of the good stuff in my life started with you.    Thank you.”

I will not mourn you, Dad. I will remember you. I will rejoice in you. I will believe in what you taught me and I will show you that all of your love and hard work was not in vain…never wasted. I will love my son to no end and show you that you gave me the greatest gift any parent could ever give. You showed me what a parents unconditional love is and for that…my son and I will will always honor your name and live with your spirit in our presence.

I love you, dad. Always and forever.

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