"I want to be my own design" Clive Barker - Imajica

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Even after all these years...

I got a letter in the mail today from Prudential about an old account of my dad's.

The letter says that they received notice that he might be deceased and that his beneficiary needs to call before 11/27 to release whatever it is they have.

He died in 2002.

 They ask that you have the death certificate when you call, I knew I still had it, still in the beige, zippered bag that the funeral home gave me when I was making all of the arrangements. I even knew exactly where it was in our shed, went straight to it. I haven't opened it or gone through it in years. Maybe even since my dad died.

Wow

I didn't even think that it was going to hit me this hard. It's not that I don't think about him ever or that I don't miss him but going through these papers just... well it was like a punch in the gut.

I forgot I had saved the few personal papers he had in his apartment. He still had my graduation announcement. He had pictures of me as I was growing up. He had a letter that he never actually sent to his mom that still makes me cry.

My parents split when I was 6 months old, I never lived with him and there was only one night that I stayed the night at his house and it ended disastrously for me.

My dad and I weren't close. I didn't grow up with him, I didn't spend a lot of time with him. He would come by my grandparents house every Christmas to give me my Christmas present and have a beer. We went to movies, we played mini golf, he bought me the more expensive presents my mom couldn't or wouldn't get me.

He wasn't a father, he was a dad but I don't fault him for it. Being a father was never his gig but he was a decent dad.

I never even really knew my dad. I met my grandparents on that side once or twice. I didn't even know how many siblings he had until he died. I don't know my family history on his side, I don't even know where they live or who is even still around.

For a long time growing up I never thought he really loved me, he just came and saw me once in awhile because my mom would call and remind him to see me. She would have to call and remind him about my birthday, about how he has a daughter and that he needed to spend time with me.

When Taylor died, my dad came to the funeral and he actually cried and told me he  loved me and how sorry he was that I had to go through that. That is really the first time I can actually remember him being emotional at all around me. I was 19.

It was only after he died that I found out that was proud of me, that he really loved me, his only child. That he talked about me to his family, to his coworkers.  All of the things he couldn't tell me in life, I had to find out from scraps of paper laying around his empty apartment and his coworkers who told me how much my dad would brag about me.

It just... took me by surprise how much looking through these things made me miss him. And I do miss him. His laugh, his voice that carried everywhere, his smile and his love of crappy movies and classic rock. Things I've proudly inherited from him.

my favorite shot of my dad, probably since I took it. Royal Gorge 1991
My dad was a character and I still love and miss him.

Parents - tell your kids you love them. Tell them you are proud of them.

Kids - tell your parents you love them.

Just do it. 

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