Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daddy's Girl

My father died when I was 8 years old. It's been over 20 years since he died, and still, it hurts. I'm not much younger now than he was when he died and I can't help but miss him even more as the years go by bringing us closer to the same age.
He never got to see me go to the prom. He didn't get to take me to any father-daughter dances. He didn't get to interrogate my boyfriends. He didn't get to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. He didn't get to meet his grand-daughter.
Not only am I sad for all the times I miss with him in my life, I'm sad for all the things he didn't get to do in his life, and all the things I desperately hope my husband and I get to do with Sugarplum.
On his death bed he gave my brother and I his greatest gift. He wouldn't allow us to see him in the hospital. At the time, it didn't seem like a gift and I was too young to understand that when my mother said "maybe next time" there would never really be a next time. It turned out to be his greatest gift because of the memories we have of him. A young, vibrant man full of life and energy and good times. Not a shell of a person weak, sick, and dying.
In a way I was robbed of the chance to say goodbye.. but I realize now, I would have never wanted to say goodbye. I keep him in my heart and in my soul. I refused to go to his memorial service, because I knew it would be too sad. I didn't want to have to say goodbye, and my mother didn't make me. I think that has been one of her greatest gifts.
When she told us he had died, she took me in the backyard and told me to look in the sky and pick a cloud. She told me that whenever I was feeling sad or lonely, he would always be there, behind that cloud, watching over me and protecting me. Still, there's an empty part of me that can never be filled. This time of year is bitter sweet for me; this is when I miss him the most.