Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I miss my dad a lot today.
I don't know why. I mean, I honestly miss him every day, but there are just some days, even now, almost 13 years later, that I wake up and the scar of losing my father at such a young age aches. It's not even really a painful ache, just a dull but constant soreness deep in my heart.
Part of me feels like 13 years should be enough time for this not to happen anymore, but part of me also feels like losing someone so vital to your formative years isn't something you can ever get over.
And here I am, overthinking it again.
I don't know the man, really. I have basically no memories of him, all I have are the stories various family members tell me, and I wish so badly that I could remember - remember his voice without having to watch home videos, remember his smile without having to stare at photographs, remember what it was like for him to hold me and to know that I was his princess, his "sweet pea," his baby girl. I want to remember what life was like with him, and instead, my first real memory is of waking up to find out he's gone.
I'm still growing up, you know? And every time something big happens in my life, I can't help but wonder how he'd react, if he'd be celebrating all of my victories and there to hold my hand when I'm sick or scared.
There are 24 days till I leave for DC, living in a big city all by myself and working like an adult for eight weeks. Would he be proud of me? Would he be calling to check in every day, or would he just trust that I could do it and wait for me to call him? Would he be telling all of his friends that his youngest daughter was living her dreams, boasting with pride like only a parent can?
There are 30 days till I'm no longer a teenager. And there's so much more life I have to live. What about when I finally start dating - would he be an overprotective, sort-of-seriously-threatening dad, or would he be like Mom and be a parent any of my friends can get along with? And when I meet the love of my life? He won't be there to celebrate me getting engaged. He won't be there to walk me down the aisle or dance with me at my wedding reception. He won't be there when I have kids.
Losing him still affects me every day. It affects all three of us every day. When you're a girl, growing up without a dad means you lose out on a male role model to teach you how a man is supposed to treat you. I think it's why Holly put up with that crap from Landon for so long, I think it's why Chelsea's been so promiscuous, and I'm almost certain it's why I put up with emotional abuse from guys in my past and still so desperately just want to be loved. Because we missed out on being secure in the love of our dad as we tried to figure out how to deal with the opposite sex.
To be perfectly honest, the thing that hurts me most of all is knowing that my dad wasn't a Christian. So even when I die, I'm not going to get to see him again. I still think about his death. I wonder if he was scared to face the end of his life, especially not having God to turn to, I wonder how much it hurt, I wonder if he thought of his girls when the brain tumors (the leukemia metastasized to other parts of his body at the end) didn't change him into a completely different person.
Writing this all out, it seems to be perfectly reasonable that I still miss him. I miss the memories we could have had, the lessons I could have learned, the love I could have felt.
I can't change what happened to him, to us. I can't change the cancer, or his death. Instead, I'm left living my life the best that I can figure out how and praying to God that I'm making my daddy proud.
I'm sorry if you read all of this and think it's morbid or whatever, but I had to get it out somewhere. We don't talk about him much anymore in this family, so this was the only place I knew I could go.