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Friday, July 8, 2011

Letters to Dad I

Remember that time we talked about love?  "How did you know you were in love?" I asked. 
You shrugged and smiled at me, "its just a feeling you get and you know.  You just want to tell them everything, no matter how small. You want them to know everything."

Or that time in the summer after your DUI.  We sat at the window and talked as if nothing had happened.  It wasn't as though I had just given you a ride home since you had no license, it was just me and you chatting in the evening hours; an ordinary visit.  "How do you remain so calm through all this?" I asked. 
"What can I do about it, Malia?" You said.  "I just push it all down and let it work its way up.  Yeah, it sucks," you told me with that expression I can see so perfectly in my memory.  You put your head down and close your eyes, shaking your head ever so slightly with a smirk on your face.  You always made a noise with your throat.  I notice I do it now, too, and whenever I catch myself, I think of you.  Its almost a partial laugh but doesn't make it farther than the back of the throat.  I still see the tenderness in your eyes as you smiled that assuring smile.  Its a smile with a statement I can hear in my memory that everything will be ok.

I try to make my decisions based on how you would.  I try to see things through your eyes.  Its helped in a lot of ways and its hindered me in a lot of ways.  But no matter what, I'm treating every decision with the utmost care and consideration, ultimately because of you.

Your death has brought me closer to more things, aware I guess you'd call it.  I'm aware of my life, my family, my future, my surroundings.  Does that mean I know what's going on?  Hell no!  But at least I can say I see these things much differently.  I am becoming more aware of the truths that were never explained to me.  The reasons you avoided many topics when we'd get onto them were those universal, don't-want-to-talk-about-it truths that make me wonder where, in fact, I came from as you wondered, too.

I feel like you died for a reason.  Lately, I see and hear of so many issues people have with their families.  I see kids hating their fathers and parents not talking to their children for years and years over silly arguments.  I have stepped up and become that person that tells these people that tomorrow could be too late.  Tomorrow, they could lose someone they love and never have that chance to make amends.  I tell people of our story.  I tell people the good, the bad, and the ugly.  But I tell them of how it worked out with us.  I tell them that it was me with you during those last few months, it was me that spent hours awake watching movies while you were in agony, but hiding it in order to enjoy a night with me. It was the circumstances that brought us closer, brought everyone closer together.

I preach our story to these people because its mine to preach.  You are no longer here to take claim on it.  You are no longer here to remember the details I leave out.  You are no longer here to fill anymore blank pages.  You are no longer here....

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