As I sit outside, I bask in the beauty of the Spring sun, I gaze up at the periwinkle blue sky, and I’m reminded of that day. You know, that last day of September, when we celebrated your life. The day when I couldn’t stop crying, but somehow I managed to hold the tears back, as I read the piece that I’d written about you.At the time, I thought that I was lying by admission when I didn’t mention all the times you had beaten me, the breaking of the bat on my back, or all the hurtful words that you said during the thirty-six years that we were both alive. But, the joke was ultimately on was on me; I think about you almost everyday, and I thought I was saying goodbye to you.I believe I mentioned something about it being the last time that I would have to play my role as the loving daughter, but I’ve realized in the sixth months that you’ve been gone, I wasn’t playing a role. I did and do, still love you. Whenever anything occurs in regards to fathers, one of your granddaughters’ will reach over to comfort me. I still have an ache in my heart; I thought it would go away when we placed your ashes in the grave. It’s still with me, it’s as if there’s a burn, like some how I’ve stuck my hands in the flame of a huge bonfire, and instead of the burn remaining on my hands, it crawled through my veins until it reached my heart.I haven’t forgotten the hell you put me through, and at times I apparently still have the night terrors where you’re trying to kill me. But, now I am also able to see and acknowledge the good things that you did in your life as well. So perhaps, the grief and pain that I feel isn’t for the man that you were when you died. Maybe, I’m finally able to grieve for the man that I lost when I was eleven.There’s also another part of me that thinks that I’m grieving for the reunification that will never be. You see, I always thought that somehow we would come back together again; I thought that one day, the loving and caring father, that would find a way to squeeze through the cracks from time to time, would win the war that was going on inside you. I had convinced myself, that somehow you would miss me enough to apologize for the horrible things that you had done. I knew with every breath that I took in, that the man who once sat patiently by my side at five in the morning, and put the bait on the hook for me, would somehow manage to return to the surface. Unfortunately, he never did find a way to break through the limestone, that had surrounded his heart over the years; I never got to say goodbye to the man thuiihgffgffhe was at the time of his death, and most certainly not to the amazing father, coach and police officer that he was before that.I can’t count the times since my dad’s passing, that I looked at my girls or witnessed them do something amazing, or brought home a wonderful report card, and thought about how proud my father would’ve been to see it. Or, how many times since my father’s passing have I wondered if he was proud of me. I was given a present of sorts last week, my mother never said a kind word in the seventeen years that they were divorced. However, she told me that my reminiscing about receiving my college class ring, had reminded her of my college graduation. She said that my father had told her that he was very proud of me for graduating from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College; I wish that I’d heard the words from him, but the knowledge that it happened has allowed a little salve to cover the burning of my heart.
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