It’s days like yesterday when I miss dad the most. The long grey-color-pallet days of winter and the feeling of 1,000 things gone wrong. Just wrong. All my mistakes and shortcomings and the mistakes and shortcomings of others.
I just need to talk to him. “Dad, I’m having a hard time,” but that’s not actually what I would say.
It would be a phone call and he would pick up, “Gorrrrdita!” rolling out the “r” for an exaggerated effect. (I forget how, where, and when that nickname actually came to be). His excitement to hear from me is warming, but my heart accelerates and my breath is heavy–
“Hey Dad,” with an exhale.
“What’s goin’ on?” he says casually to not be presumptuous. But come on–he knows. He always knows. The wooshing wind from his rolled down window distracts me. No matter what season it is his window is down and he’s driving—always driving.
“I dunno. Not much.”
“Uh-huh, well don’t put too much stalk into what other people say.”
“I know. It’s just…I know. You’re right dad.”
He continues, “Don’t let other people dictake things for you. Fuck em.”
Or, SCENARIO 2
I explain a list of things gone wrong. “I didn’t get approved for the loan, my car broke down, I have a client I can’t seem to help, my daughter is Agressive…and ugh it’s raining.”
“Really? I wonder why? That’s silly. Shit, I probably couldn’t get approved. Well, it’s alright. It’ll all work out. We will figure out a way together. Don’t sweat it dude.”
Dad had a way of making things seem OK again. I remember a night 3 years ago after the birth of McKinley. My anxiety level was at a new high.
I called to talk to mom first, because they worked best as a team.
“What’s the matter?” mom asks softly.
Working through my sniffles, “I don’t think I can do this. It’s too much.”
“Oh Georgia, of course you can. I know It’s not easy, trust me! You are going to be an amazing mother.”
“What’s goin’ on?”
“I don’t think I’m ready for this.”
“Well, shit–you never are.”
“What am I gonna do when she’s 15? How am I supposed to teach her right from wrong? I don’t think I can drive her all around with my anxiety. I’m freaking out.”
“Well, just take it one thing at a time. Don’t think about 15…She’s not even 1 month. Every age and stage is different. Don’t think or worry about it until you get there.”
Then I miss dad on days like today– when the sun is finally starting to break through. When something happy happens and you get that good news.
We’re moving into our first home… alone! No extended family this time. Just our immediate family unit. 4 elements under 1 roof. And a dog.
Dad would have embraced me in his tight hug, kissed my forehead, and whispered, “I’m so proud of you kiddo.” And, he would have said that on my worst days too.