Dad: I was thinking about you the other day.
Me: Oh really? What about?
Dad: Yeah. I was on my way to bowling.
Me: OK. What were you thinking about?
Dad: I was thinking about you and it made me sad.
Me: Huh? Sad? Why did thinking about me make you sad?
Dad: Sad because… Because I lost so much time with you.
Dad: Sad because I never apologized for not being there. I know things are better now, but I lost so much time.
Me: Thank you for that. It means a lot.
Dad: I just feel bad.
Me: We cannot do anything about the time that was lost but we can enjoy what we have now. Besides, had things been different, I would be different. And I love the woman I see in the mirror.
I talk to my dad at least once each week. Sometimes he makes the call, sometimes I do. Our chats are about everything and nothing, but almost always include me teasing him about being a “crotchety old man” after he has shared a funny anecdote about the latest person who danced all over his last nerve. He tells me about what he’s been whipping up in the kitchen and the latest activity he has found to occupy his time in retirement. I ask about the latest click-clack noise coming from my car and how to fix this or that. We take turns life coaching each other, always finding ways to push the other to be better humans. And, because we are who we are, sometimes we listen, sometimes we don’t.
Although my dad was the first man I ever loved, this bond we have created is relatively new -- maybe just seven years in the making. Our weekly chats are like medicine for ailing souls, presenting opportunities for healing. I listen to his voice and hear compassion, love and support. I see myself in his eyes and feel honored to share jokes.
And as much as I would like to say the transition to this place was easy, it was not.
I spent decades washing my face with tears of disappointment, longing for a father-daughter bond that included silly jokes and needed encouragement.
I wanted an apology like I wanted to breathe, the need often feeling like something I could not be complete without.
And then one day it began to change…
No. Not because I decided to stop caring. It was because I realized that I had become so consumed with what was not that I could not allow myself to embrace what is. I was missing out on my life, because I was choosing to long for something that was not meant for me, for us.
Slowly I began to release the pieces of those old stories, seeing them for what they were -- a part of my journey.
I could have continued to hold them, to feel their pain at my core, allowing their presence to continue to burn my skin with salty tears. But that would have been me choosing to NOT live my life to the absolute fullest, to feel the joy of what is in this present, glorious moment.
Want to learn how to release the hurt and embrace the present moments? Message me to talk about it.