This month marks one year since my father died. The actual date of his death is March 28th, 2006. But today, I am so sad.
Today I made my Social Identity Presentation in my Multicultural Issues course. It was a great assignment. And yet, I had to talk publicly about my father. I didn't realize how hard that would be until I was actually doing it.
What I thought was just the normal nervousness that accompanies speaking in front of people was really a tsunami of sadness that had been neglected for too long. I cried as I talked about my relationship with him. I tried not to, but there is something about grief that can only stand neglect for so long - and then it asserts itself.
I needed it. I needed to talk about my father. I needed to cry about my father. I needed the hug I received. No, I would never have asked for it, but there was no way I was going to deny it either. I did recover enough to finish the talk.
Even as I write, the tears come. Today I am not thinking about the day he died. No, I am thinking about the best day of my life - when he and I reconciled.
You see, I secretly hated my father for nearly 2 and a half decades. No one knew - even me. But when I realized it, I had rage - and then I longed to forgive him. I longed for his forgiveness.
You know what? I got it. We talked and I got everything from him I was looking for. I remember my tears then were tears of relief. Hate is a thing that suffocates you. Carry it around and pieces of you either start to die or never get a chance to live in the firtst place. For the first time in my life, I didn't hate.
I got 13 more years with him after than - and it wasn't enough. I want him back. I miss my father. I want him to be at my PhD graduation. I want him to see me wear the funny cap and gown. I want him to tell me how proud he is of me. For numerous health and work related reasons, he was not at any of my graduations, my wedding, or the birth of my children. I don't blame him for that. But never the less, I don't get to have it either.
It's my son's birthday party tomorrow. He'll be 7. I am going to be there, capturing it on tape, having as much fun as I possibly can. Even though I do not get to have my father for the important things happening in my life, I get to be a father in the important things happening in my son's life.