There were moments in my life when I was close with my dad – brief, fleeting moments. I always wanted to have a close relationship with him but it wasn’t meant to be. I was surprised and disappointed to learn yesterday that he passed and that the possibility of him ever surprising me in better ways was gone forever.
Full disclosure, I hadn’t seen him in years and our brief encounters were generally unpleasant and left me in tears. The catalyst five years ago, never made sense to me but c’est la vie. I’m good at dealing emotions and am far more sad for my younger siblings loss than myself – he was there for their every day. I’m glad they had that experience and hope that part of the reason he was a better parent is lessons learned from me and B.
From my entire life, I have three distinct good memories of my dad. I always made a point to tell him and everyone these moments because they always have and always will mean something to me. I also hoped he’d get the hint (and blatant reminders) that it was his time and attention we wanted more than anything else.
The first is pictured above. My third or fourth birthday. It’s one of my earliest memories, he surprised me with tickets to see Disney on Ice. I don’t remember seeing Disney on Ice. I do remember the feelings I get when I look at this picture. I have to believe it was the feeling I had when he came that day and it was something I always wanted to feel again.
Another time, was when he was in the military and we were young. He was away on one of his weekends and he sent us flowers. I was so happy to get those flowers. It’s a memory I don’t have a picture of but I’ve never forgotten it. It was always a moment I reminded him of because it wasn’t something we asked for and it was something he thought to do on his own. I told him of this moment so often that he did bring us flowers again when we were older, it wasn’t quite the same but I appreciated the effort. I don’t have a single card from him but I have the memory of those flowers.
The final memory was a trip to Florida. It wasn’t necessarily a fun trip but for one day B and I chose what we wanted to do and we went to Epcot. It was just the three of us and it was fun. It was a day we had no fights, there was no pressure or negativity, it was just a good day. I always wanted more of those good days. Somewhere in the world there was a picture of the three of us. I searched and searched and can’t find it – hopefully, I will find it again.
There it is. Yes, there were other good times (and there are far more not-so-good times – I don’t want to sugarcoat things) but these are the moments that had been firmly planted in my mind no matter how bad things got between us. I’m sorry there won’t be more moments but I’m glad I have these to keep.