Daddy

My father died on Tuesday.

I keep saying it to make it real.

It doesn't feel real. Not real at all. I don't feel real. I sit and want to stand. I stand and want to sit. I am exhausted but my mind plays a continuous reel of good and bad. Everything tastes like cardboard, except chocolate covered espresso beans.

People don't know what to say. Some people say it perfectly, even as they profess to not know what to say. Some people are seriously lacking in saying anything- there is surely a "ten things to not say when someone dies" post waiting to be written. And then there is my friend, Nichole, who heard my voice on Tuesday and said "You sound like shit." I am not sure why, but this was the perfect thing- she heard it in my voice before she even knew.

My father was not a good father. He gave me a lifetime of hurts to heal, and he was not there for any important event. However, I loved him. I loved him fiercely. He had no idea how much I loved him because I was just learning to wade through the hurts, but I loved him. I loved the Daddy he was, who could bring a room to life with his energy. I loved the man he was after his stroke, his alert eyes hidden behind his thick glasses. I did not tell him how much I loved him, but I loved him fiercely.

This is a regret that I will carry for a very long time, because I know better. Life is too short, and I was mistaken in thinking there was time to heal wounds. I told my aunt this last night, that I have this incredible guilt. She has a stronger faith than I can comprehend, and she assured me that my father knows that he was loved. I have the weakest faith, so I can only want to believe this, but I will depend on her faith for that. She also told me not to get mired down in my guilt. To make this day one, of living intentionally and making sure that people know they are loved.

Her words have been in my mind all day and night. Neon bright. Live intentionally. Make sure people know they are loved.

I am working on it. As I sit and stand. Stand and sit.

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