The kids and I spent this past holiday weekend at my parents’ house. It’s been too long since our last visit, and was a very welcome respite from the reality of home. I am a supreme Daddy’s Girl. When I’m stressed, I need that time with my Daddy to calm and recover. Within minutes of arriving at their house Saturday, I felt a peace invading my head and heart I haven’t felt in months.
I hate typing these words, but my Daddy isn’t young anymore. I won’t tell you how old he is (he does read my blog occasionally), but it’s a good number. He’s never, ever seemed old to me, but over the last couple of years, the signs have been showing up. This time, leaving him nearly broke me.
Daddy has always been my rock. When I’m stressed, I go to him. He’s always been there – always supported even when he didn’t agree with my choices, never judged, always loved, always given me a safe place. He’s taught me so much about life, about persevering, not giving up, about giving myself grace, appreciating my own strengths while accepting others’ weaknesses. He’s taught me to fight when needed, to walk away when it was the wiser choice. From him, I’ve learned to laugh at myself, to be thankful for each breath, to love deeply, to parent graciously.
I’ve never let myself imagine him not being there, but he isn’t immortal. That fact stares me in the face. I gets more and more difficult to leave every time we visit. I spent the first half hour of our trip home yesterday fighting the tears.
He’s telling more and more stories, which I absolutely love. I love my kids get to hear it from him – who he was growing up, what his life was like, how he remembers me as a kid. I’m hearing things I’ve never heard before – stories from his childhood, stories from his time in the Navy, stories of my older siblings. I treasure those, and hold them close.
I listened closely to his conversations with my kids. I hope they appreciate the time they have with him and my mom. I hope they remember…..I hope they get it. He and Mom have their traditions with my kids, and I love watching each one. I pray they remember him, remember all the time they’ve had with him.
I’m kind of a disaster today, because I already miss him and can’t wait to see him again. I’m afraid each time will be the last (although he’ll probably be mad at me for saying that – pretty sure he’d rather he was immortal). I don’t know what I’ll do when I have to get through each day without him. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around it, which just makes each minute I have with him now matter that much more.