A Letter To My Dad

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost nine years since we lost you. I don’t think I ever completely separated you from my mother and perhaps that’s the reason I saw you less in those last years. You were always a set, the two of you. I should have known since her judgment was never yours and you always marched forward to different music than she did.
Funny how all that time growing up, I never really knew or understood why you did the things you did. You were a mystery I couldn’t solve, like the books you loaned me to read, hoping I’d become as avid a book lover as you were. You were like the vast terrains you loved to explore both in books and in person; those deserts of surprise, long stretches of silence with unexpected beauty.
I always wondered if I’d disappoint you.
I always tried so hard not to.
And I always failed so completely.
But I remember that you never put that on me. That was my own longing to please, my need to be Daddy’s little girl so that I’d know who I was. YOU never demanded that. Your standards were clear; be independent, work hard and don’t quit. My lack of a college degree bothered you less than the fact that I had trouble finishing anything.
Not that you were perfect. You were tough on the Millionaire’s Wife, always talking about her as if she was a bit brainless. I wonder if you saw her after your death, handling all your complicated financial affairs for Mom, handling all the odds and ends that come up after the end of a life. Handling your widow, who pretty much lost her mind after you died.
I wonder if you saw how Boy Scouts changed our lives, how many times the Redneck and I have wished you were here to ask questions, to discuss stuff, to brag about the things we’re doing.
That first couple of years after you were gone, I missed you a lot, wishing I’d been better at listening to you, at noting your history. Wished I’d asked more questions about your time in Korea, your childhood in Texas, your friends, your troubles. Then, the pain eased and Father’s Day, your Birthday and Thanksgiving (your favorite holiday) passed with little thought about your absence.
But the last two years, the pain has reemerged, pricking at me, catching me at odd moments when I least expect it. This Father’s Day, I found the pain so unbearable, I immersed myself in hard work rather than think about the absence I felt so much.
Nine year later and I think I miss you more now than I did when you left.
I can hear you now, Dad. “Sentimental bullshit. Stop sniveling, kiddo and get to work.” Alright, alright.
Still, I wish you were here to say it.
Just sayin’

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6 Comments

Filed under Just Sayin

6 responses to “A Letter To My Dad

  1. Wow, dad’s are such amazing people…It is amazing how one person can impact a whole bunch of people…

  2. Jen

    It is amazing, Savannah.

  3. My throat is swollen with tears. Thank you for reminding me to treasure my own dad.

  4. Beautiful, Jen. You said on Facebook that you were having a hard time writing about your dad, but you’d never know it. xo

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