Who would have guessed when I wrote this last year on this I would be sitting writing this in a little apartment a few feet from my wife?
My dad. That’s who!
14 years have passed. Fourteen long tiring years of figuring out how to live life without a dad to call and question. Without being able to find any suitable replacement and without being able to even contemplate what that means most of the time. Last year, I cried a lot. Around friends and counselors. This year feels different. It might be because I have been able to do a couple things in the last year that I think would have made him proud.
1. Gave up my selfish plans when a beautiful girl crossed my path.
2. Made the hard decisions to keep her protected
3. Doing whatever is necessary to show her she is worth more to me than anything else.
Last year, I was reminded how many bad jobs my dad worked to provided for our family. This year I am reminded of the time we (just me and dad) drove all over Smyrna, Marietta, Powder Springs, Mableton, Austell, Douglasville, and Lithia Springs to find a present for my mom.
I was a teenager, maybe an older teenager of 16 or 17. I had better things to do. It was cold and getting in and out of the car as we stopped in multiple strip mall jewelry stores was not what I wanted to do. I am sure there was some taped David Letterman to watch or a book to read.
I am sure he saw it as a chance to spend time with me, as most of my high school years required errand runs be bonding time. It was two days before Christmas I think and the purchase must be made that day. He hadn’t found the time between work, church and mom being around to have this adventure. But he was determined to find my mom a charm for her bracelet. Because it was his tradition – to buy something meaningful that she would keep forever. And it was what she liked and how he showed love.
I also remember that we didn’t just drive around to get the best deal…although money was an issue. We drove around to get the right gift to express his love for her. It took a while but was worth it to a man of little free time, because she was worth it.
And even though I was probably as bad as any angsty teen on TV I learned from you, dad.
Thanks for letting me learn from you. I miss you, Dad.