Friday, January 2, 2009

Forever Your Girl

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." Clarence Budington Kelland

It was 20 years ago today that my father passed away. I was 24 at the time, and all I could think about today was how he has been gone for almost as long as he was here with me.

There is a photo of him that I keep in a dresser drawer. It is a Polaroid that has changed color with the years. He is cutting a birthday cake and smiling widely. It is my favorite photo of him because he rarely smiled like that.

I have a lot in common with my Dad: As I get older, I see that I look a lot like him. He used to tinge almost every conversation with something humorous, and I share that trait. He could never sit still for very long, and, as I get older, I'm becoming the same way. He had a terrible temper, and I know I got that from him. And he was sentimental and emotional, and I inherited all of that.

The things I admire most about him are: He rarely complained about anything. He had infinite patience with me most of the time. He had a strong faith that he mostly kept to himself. He always knew the right thing to do. And he could fix absolutely anything. Or maybe it just seemed that way to me. And when he was proud, he would always grab my arms and kiss my cheek, and I could see that he was fighting back tears. I loved how he made my then- boyfriend/now husband nervous with just a glance. He was my daddy, and he made everything alright.

I remember the very last time I saw him.  He proudly put on a sweater that my Mom got him for Christmas, and he did a little jig around the living room while modeling it for me.  He had been having a good day.  He was working, and he came back home a couple of times that day just to see what was going on.  I was drying some dishes when he left for the last time and said, "See you later."  Unfortunately, life turns on a dime.  

Lately, I'm having a hard time remembering what he looked like which makes me sad. I had dreams in the past where I can see his face very clearly, but I rarely dream about him anymore. He has been gone for 20 years, but I think of him often. From time to time some of his sayings come to mind. My son has his brown eyes that dance with mischief and his sly smile. He loved it when there was snow on the evergreen trees. He would have loved my kids. I am still very sad that he isn't here.  And no amount of time will ever change that.  

"Fathers be good to your daughters . . . You are the god and the weight of her world." Lyrics from "Daughters" by John Mayer

1 comment:

  1. I loved it J! I cried when I read it. He is with us all everyday as long as we live. Love Celie