The last time I saw him, he and Mom had come for the weekend to visit my husband and me. We walked down to the underground garage with them and kissed them both as they got in the car. Then we turned around and headed back to the apartment elevator.
I clearly remember thinking, "Turn around and look at him because you might not see him again." Immediately I told myself to quit being so dramatic, there was no reason I wouldn't see him. He was only 57 and in good health.
The next Saturday, we played in a poker tourney at Dave's brother's house and I won first place. I was so excited! We sent to sleep and at 6:30 in the morning the phone rang. I answered and the operator asked to speak to Dave. I handed the phone to my husband and he went white. Covering the phone, he turned to me with sad eyes and said, "Oh, Hon. I'm so sorry. Your father has died."
I was 27.
We had recently begun to repair the relationship and heal, but there had not been enough time to enjoy our newly repaired, tentative feelings toward each other. There was not enough time for either of us to prove that love was still real.
Today I feel the need to send my father a letter. Today I feel my father needs me and, yeah, I need him.
To My Father,
Dad, I want you to know that your were the best father a little girl could have ever had, bar none. The time you and mom spent with me, the places you took me to, the fun things we did far outnumber what most parents do. Some of the things I hated at the time, but now i have a love of classical music, thanks to you. While I don't practice organized religion (which somehow now that I am older I don't think would bother you as much as you pretended it would) I do have a belief in the spriritual and solid principles that I can reflect on when the going gets tough. When I became a teenager, civil war broke out between us and it continued through my early twenties. We were too different, too opinionated, and I know now you feared my turning into a young woman who appeared "sexy" and wanted to protect me. I'm glad that we had started to mend things by the time you died, too young, at the age I am now. 57. I was 27. I'm glad we said "i love you" more than once before you had to go. I wish you could have accepted my differences, but I know now it wasn't because you didn't love me, but because of your upbringing and some awful things that occurred in your life that you found it hard to be anyting but unwavering in the opinions that you held in order to stay strong. I miss you, Daddy, and now I understand, even if we stll wouldn't usually agree. It's all cool. And you know what? I know you miss talking to me, too.
Happy Father's Day, from your rebel artist daughter,Carolyn Anne