"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just another memory

I remember one night when I was about 9…waking up in the middle of the night at my dad’s house. I walked across the hall into his room and he wasn’t there…and I remember being so confused and scared. I went downstairs, and found him in the kitchen…with papers and a pen scattered over the table, with his guitar in his lap. I remember being afraid for him to notice me, afraid I was going to get yelled at for being out of bed. But this wasn’t one of those nights. He saw that I’d come down, and instead of getting angry, he gestured for me to come over, and he sat me in the chair next to him. He told me he’d written a new song, and he started to play. After singing it to me once, he handed me the paper and told me to sing with him. I have no idea how long we sat at that table…singing the new song, and all of the older ones that he’d written. There were silly ones like “Down on the Bayou” and “Ant Highway” that he knew made me laugh…and then there were other serious songs about love and life.
                I don’t know why that memory has been in my head lately. Part of me thinks it might be me trying to make peace with myself over everything that has happened. I don’t want to hate him. I don’t want to remember the nights of hell, where I would sit awake in bed all night terrified of him coming home. I want to remember the nights where he was calm…and he loved his daughter. He could have been such a phenomenal dad. I know he loved his kids…I don’t doubt that. But he was so screwed up in the head, that he didn’t know how to handle that. He didn’t know how to care for someone more than himself…and the drugs certainly didn’t help to clarify that. He didn’t understand how the way he acted affected me…and he probably never will.
                It all makes me sad. While the memory is good to have…and I’ll always hold onto it…it still hurts. I wish with everything in me that something could have stuck in his brain. That something could have shown him how he was passing up an amazing opportunity. I loved him, looked up to him in some strange way…and all he taught me was how you can’t trust anyone.
                Here I am, 12 years later…and I know I’ll never have that moment back. The reality is sinking in that not only will I never have that moment again…but I will never have that person again. He’s long long gone…and it’s starting to feel like I’m grieving a death. Granted that day will be an entirely new bridge to cross…but I think acceptance is finally hitting.
                I’m not angry with my father…although it’d be easier if I was. I’m not completely depressed over it either though. I’m finally getting to the point where I can see those few good times despite the hell he put me through. There were moments where my dad was in there somewhere. Moments where the real him would come out and be the dad I wanted so badly. Just because he’s gone now…and just because he spent more time hurting me than being that dad…doesn’t mean I can’t remember those few moments. Cling to them even. While my father was not the man he should have been…my dad was an amazing man. My father is still around…but my dad died years ago.
Every time I hear a guitar strum…I will think of you. Every time I sing…I will think of you. Every time I look in the mirror and see my bright blue eyes…I will think of you. And my heart will be filled with a little sorrow but also a little joy. I miss you and I always will…and I am thankful for the chance to see the side of you that I loved so much. I wish I could have been what you needed. Be safe.

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