Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I love you, Daddy

My father was a bear of a man- tall, broad-shouldered, and with a deep, booming voice that belied the gentle, tender heart that beat within his chest.  He was jovial- his laugh was contagious, as was his sense of humor.  He was fiercely loyal, easily hurt, and quick to tear up when happy and when sad.

I loved him dearly.

He died about a month ago, and all that I can think of now are the things that I didn't say to him while he was still with us.  I said many things to him, but the most important things to say to him are the things I thought of after he was gone.  I told him how much I loved him, and how proud I was to be his daughter- but not WHY I was proud.  I thanked him for showing me the wonders of the woods, but I didn't thank him for showing me just WHY the woods were so wonderful.  I thanked him for spending time with us as children, when many fathers wouldn't have, but I didn't thank him for teaching me how to play chess.  I told him that everything about me that I am proud of is because of him- but not what I was proud of.  Because of my sweet daddy, I'm stubborn.  I laugh easily and often, and my love of this world is because of him.  I told him that I loved his voice, but not that I wanted to sing one more song with him.  Before he was gone, I told him that he was a great Daddy, and he chuckled softly.  I'm not sure why.  I didn't tell him that he was a great daddy because he made an insignificant girl in a house of boys feel special, feel wanted, and feel loved.

Life is fragile, and it is fleeting. At best, it is a whirlwind of experiences that begin with a breath and end with the final beat of a great heart.  In the end, all that remains is the warm memory of complete love, and the chill of emptiness that wraps around you when you realize that the deep, booming voice of your father is at rest.