Death is an inevitable part of life, we’re all aware of that fact, but when it’s close to home it’s a hard and terrible thing to cope with. I am writing this from a place of turmoil. I don’t know how this will go but as a part of loving myself wholly, I know I must get this out of my system.
When a person who is close to you is alive you don’t know how influential they are to your life until they are gone. In my case, I didn’t realize how much I actually leaned on my dad for sound advice and a laugh when I needed it. We didn’t have a typical relationship but I love him like any little girl loves the first man she’ll ever love, unconditionally.
We argued, fussed, and sometimes yelled at each other, but I know when times got hard he was always there for me and I for him. He would piss me off beyond belief more than any person ever could (it’s because we have the same personality). I often joked and told him he wasn’t my dad because all his kids resembled him. He would laugh and tell me, “Shut up kid.” or “Yeah right.”
I always looked at his flaws and saw what kind of man he wasn’t, but it wasn’t until his recent passing that I see what kind of man he was. He was a father, a friend, and a cornerstone. I became angry with him as I watch his health decline because most of the problems he experienced could be helped with diet and exercise. I’d get so frustrated with him when I’d walk into his kitchen and see him eating a greasy breakfast. Then with eyes like a puppy and a mouth full of food he’d say, “What?” Then I would proceed to give him a lecture about why his choice was wrong. It changed absolutely NOTHING! But when you love someone their stubbornness doesn’t keep you from wanting them to do right. So the more bad choices he made the more I fussed and yelled.
Our last conversation is one I’ll never forget, he called to do his ‘Dad’ thing, ask a question about something he already had the answer to (that got on my everlasting nerve). He called to ask about church service at another congregation. Hilarity and chaos ensued and before we hung up, he told me “I love you, bye.” and I said, “Love you too.” When I got the phone call that he wasn’t responding, I rushed to my mom’s house and couldn’t believe what I saw.
Hours later, the coroner pronounced him dead from a heart attack and all I kept thinking was “Did I tell him I loved him? Did he know I never meant any of the words that I said? Did he ever know what impact he’s had over my life?” I couldn’t remember if we said everything we needed to say to each other. I don’t know where my emotions will take me but in my heart, I know his teachings and words will help guide me through the rest of my life. He even looked at this blog sometimes and told me, “Rece, you could be writing better content.” So in honor of my dad, I’ll give you guys better content.