32

Today’s the 32nd anniversary of my father’s death.

I haven’t slept well this weekend.  Oddly, I found myself watching romantic Christmas comedies.  It’s been years since I found comfort in such things, but I did today.  And I was grateful for that.

It’s hard to believe I’ve lived my life without my father for the last 32 years.  Almost as long as I’ve been alive.  Harder still to believe I’ve actually been without him since I’ve never really felt the absence in his absence.

While his physical body is long gone, sure, my father kept his promise and never truly left me.  He still hides my keys.

No, really.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never truly stopped believing it will all be okay.  Mostly because I know my father is watching over me.  And probably laughing when I burn the hamburger buns.

I don’t cry for him–or even my mother–all that much these days.  But a wave of emotion did come over me this morning–sharp and quick–like drowning in the ocean I’ve still yet to visit.  The sobs of a lost child–the child I once was…who never grieved.  There for just a minute.  It reminded me to say something, as I always do.  To honor and remember.  So,  I did.

And that’s when the familiar sadness clung to me again.

I am proud to be the woman my father knew I could be–long before I knew who I was or what I could be. One who honors, remembers, and forgives him. In spite of all the injuries.  Or maybe because of them.  Mostly because i am his daughter. The one he raised and one who grew from his absence.  The one who will always be heartbroken and a trailblazer because I carry his legacy.

I knew the tears would return.  I just didn’t know when or how.  But now I can cry while smiling, and it doesn’t feel like lying.

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