Missing My Dad

Today my Dad would have turned 58, but unfortunately he was only 50 when his big ole heart gave out on him and he left this Earth.  I’ve missed him every day since he passed but the past couple of years have been particularly difficult.

Here I am, celebrating all the big milestones in a young person’s life.  I got my BA degree, turned 30, got married and had a baby all within two years.  And all without my Dad being there to cheer me on and hold my hand.  Thank the universe for my Mom, sisters, brother, Michael and BFFs for helping me through these challenges and milestones.  Don’t get me wrong there are moments, many in fact, where I feel his presence.  My wedding day in particular – walking down the aisle and saying my vows in the same room where my parents met some 30+ years before – let’s just say he was all around me that day…

This is how I was able to walk down the aisle with my Dad.

My friend Jen (an awesome Mama) wrote on her Facebook page a while back that her heart will always be broken cause her kids will never know how amazing their grandfather was.  I couldn’t agree more.  The fact that Michael, Cedella and any future Little Critters won’t know my Dad is devastating.  It’s hard going to visit Michael’s Dad (my wonderful father-in-law) and seeing his eyes light up and his heart overflow with love for her.  I wish my Dad could have had that.  If only I could see my Dad kissing her little cheeks and swell with joy.

My Dad wasn’t perfect by any means.  He spent most of my adolescence on drugs.  Despite all the terrible things he put himself and our entire family through, death has a funny way of putting things into perspective.  Yeah, he made a lot of mistakes, but he’s still my father, his blood runs through my veins and he deserves forgiveness and love like the rest of us.  It’s not that I have forgotten the missed birthdays or stolen cars, but by the time he died, all had long since been forgiven.

A couple of years before he passed Dad was in the midst of a do-over of sorts.  He was off drugs, he was trying to get his life together and he was trying to be the best father he could be to our baby sister, Kylara, while trying to repair the damaged relationships with my mother, sister, brother and me.  Watching him bathe, feed and change her, braid her hair or get her dressed, it was like a flashback.  A flashback to our time as a nuclear family.  Of special Daddy/Daughter trips to the Detroit Institute of Arts or the Detroit Science Center.  Of Disney World road trips.  Of camping.  Of the Belle Isle Super Slide.  Of family room dance parties.  Of a time where our family was still whole and innocent.

Kylara was only 6 when he died.  Fortunately she got some of the best years of his life.  Though he was no longer a civil engineer, he was still a genius.  Though he didn’t have a pot to piss in, he had the love of his children and family.  He doted on her and played with her all day long.  He never talked down to her and he listened to her.  For all that he overcame, staying clean and turning his life around.  For telling me every single time we spoke – even the very last time I saw him – how proud he was of me.  I know in my heart what a wonderful grandfather he would have been.

Though I know how proud my father is of the wife, mother and human I have become, I just wish I could hear him say it one more time.  I wish I could hear him tell Cedella how much he loves her.  I wish I could watch him and Michael bond over their mutual love of keyboards (and me).  Most of all I wish I could sing him ‘Happy Birthday’ over a giant caramel cake and listen to his infectious laughter at his own jokes about how old he is.  Happy Birthday Dad…you will always be missed and never forgotten.

Me and Dad just hanging out.

Comments

  1. MountainWave says:

    Hey sister, I just celebrated my Dad's birthday too. He would have been 59 this year. I feel you big time.

    Beautiful post, beautiful pictures.

    Hugs to your tender heart.

    Sara

  2. Teresha@Marlie and Me says:

    I can feel the joy and sadness in this post. Although C won't know her grandpa physically she can still grow up with him through the stories you share. you just have to keep his spirit alive in you and her. You are so blessed to have gotten him back before he died.

  3. Diana @Hormonal Imbalances says:

    You know what's neat? That your love for him outshines any wrong doing he did. Can you imagine how much our kids will love us, regardless of the mistakes we make?

    Your dad sounds like an amazing man. I'm sorry that he didn't get to see you become the person I'm sure he knew you would be. <3

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