Three years ago today my dad passed away. About a month after, a friend told me that the void of a parent never goes away. Most other losses get easier with time but the loss of a parent is different and time doesn’t do much to fill the hole. Three years later I find the statement to be very true.
I miss my dad at the oddest times. Never on his birthday or my parents anniversary or even on the anniversary of his death. My mom had to remind me about today. It happens out of the blue and it hits me like a sucker punch. I get the desire to talk to him but I can’t. Then I feel like I can’t breathe. His absence is all encompassing. Sometimes I cry and I feel better after the tears have run their course. Other times I sit and talk to him and then imagine what he would say back. But mostly, because I am a mom to a 10 month old and 5 year old I hold the feelings inside and move on. To be hones that’s what my dad would tell me to do if he was here…move on and focus on what’s in front of me.
The more I parent my two girls the more I realize how much my dad influenced my life. What I’ve come to notice in the last few years is how much he influenced how I see the world. He was a patient man, specially when I was a young child. His strength was patience with the old and the young. The middle was where he had trouble. When I was little he spent a lot of time with me explaining how the world ticked. I saw the world from a man’s perspective. I remember wanting to be Tarzan, not Jane. I got Batman, not Catwoman. I saw myself in the role of all the boy heroes not the women. Not that in the 1970’s there were any heroines except for Wonder Woman.
I’m glad for this perspective. I feel pretty lucky I had it along with the confidence and fearlessness boys are given. I see the same attitude in P. Somehow I’ve managed to take my dad’s lessons and pass them on to my girls. P sees herself as one of the boys. Like me, she identifies with the male cartoon figures not the females. The other day she was watching Tarzan and she told me she wanted to be Tarzan not Jane for Halloween. I felt so proud. The most important thing I got from my dad is the very thing I’m some how passing onto my two young girls. My dad lives on.