Saturday, June 19, 2010

father's day

you are never easy. you sneak up on me when i am alone to remind me why i am alone...while everyone else is celebrating father's day and i am not.

my dad passed away eighteen years ago. i dont talk about it a lot, because i'm not sure what to say. i still hate having that initial conversation when someone finally acknowledges that i never mention my dad. i preface my explanation with: i was four, almost five years old, so it was a long time ago. i say that to assure the person, and myself for the thousandth time, that it doesnt hurt anymore. then the next inevitable and painful question comes, "how did he die?" i've never learned the right delivery for this answer. do i pause before i tell this person the truth? do i just rapidly spew it out? i dont know. i dont know! but then i answer: a drug overdose. i feel small and helpless immediately after. i want to explain to them that i understand his choices, or at least the explanation of those choices. i want them to unconditionally love my dad just like i do, even though he made a mistake.

a brave or curious person will ask me if i remember him very much. and i do, i so do. "it's a blessing and a curse," i add always feeling shamefully cliche. i shouldnt reduce my dad's memories to a cliche. but i do remember him, and it makes it hard.

father's day and the anniversary of his death sneak up on me like a sickness. at first it's a subtle tickle in my throat and i wonder what is wrong with me? i grow increasingly sad for what i think is no good reason. then one night it haunts me in my dreams. i see my dad, dream the same haunting dream i had after his death for years. as i grew older, the dream frequented me less, but it never left my subconscious. then the tickle in my throat becomes a fever, then chills, then i cant get out of bed and im down for the count.

the illness traps me and i am a four-year-old girl again. i am hiding tears from my mom alone in my room. she cant know it hurts this much. i am calling to the moon because that's where heaven is, right? and just because he died of a drug overdose doesnt mean he didnt go to heaven, right? and even if he is gone, i can still be the proverbial apple of his eye, right?

i was a daddy's girl. and i still claim that title.

these days dont come at me with grace. rather they shake and shock me to remind me i am just a daddy's-girl who lost her dad. and while im convinced i am a strong woman -- sometimes, these times, this time i am a delicate little girl and i miss my dad.


curiouskatie said...

i have spent the last 20 mins unsuccessfully trying to put into words my response to this blog. i want to thank you for sharing a part of yourself that i know hurts more than anything. eight years ago, to the day, my dad passed away on father's day. although it breaks my heart that he's not here, i love these holidays because they help me remember him. they remind me to celebrate his life and to be happy, as i know he would want me to be. i hope that you can find peace today in knowing that your dad is with you now and always and that no matter what, you will always be his little girl. :)


aliciaaaa said...

thank you for your encouragement katie.
i always have a lot of respect for people who last their dad's much later in their lives. it's a different type of sadness and emptiness.
i plan to celebrate my dad today by visiting the places i remember him most and taking photos of our "would-be" time together.

wild wheat said...

I am so glad to know you, incredible lady. This was just beautiful. Thank you for being real. love, teacher emily