A Decade Since…

I have one major life event that I’ve yet to really clarify on. And I thought it best to go into detail today, January 25th.

I lived a relatively calm, simple life for almost 14 years. However, my reality cracked and shattered on January 25th, 2006; just two days preceding my 14th birthday. I was pulled from school, where my mom and I were taken to my dad’s place of work. He had died…

My dad wasn’t biologically mine. But that makes no difference in my world. He raised me from the time I was a baby, and he and my mom met, up until the very day he was gone. Academically he was the one I turned to, math and science being the subjects he was quite adept at, while I struggled to perfect and unlock each and every pattern (no shortcuts and shortstops).

He was so smart. An engineer, and a man of the United States Air Force. In some regard, that makes me a military brat (more so than I already was destined to be). He knew his equations, his projects. Because of him I became more inclined to love astronomy. (He worked on private/military satellites.) He’d show me constellations at night, from time to time. Pointing out satellites passing us by overhead. Of shooting stars and the craters of the moon.

We didn’t take many broad vacations. But when we did, we’d always take the longer roads and see where they may lead. I remember one trip to his hometown, he was quietly giddy to show us where he grew up.

By no means was he perfect. But my momma loved this man. And he was the daddy I felt safe and guided by. They had their tiffs, just as I had mine with both of them as I reached my stages of puberty.

None of us were perfect. But my god that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an abundance of love unfathomable.

And then, he was gone.

One good thing to note, about not being biologically related, is that I don’t share the genetic problem that killed him. Now, I don’t remember what it was called, though it causes severe heart attacks. His father had it, and died from it. His brother, my uncle, almost died from it too.

Which is where I have some anger issues where I can’t forgive the man. He knew he was at risk, and didn’t get himself checked out. Especially after his brother had bypass surgery. In the end, it was his own damn fault. And he left us alone. And I hate that. I can’t forgive that. He left a wife and child behind, due to his own negligence.

Even a decade later, and so much has changed, and I too have changed beyond a point my younger self wouldn’t recognize the woman in her place. I cannot forgive him. I don’t hate him. But forgiveness isn’t necessary to move on. There’s just no release on the guilty party. I’ll always remember.

Ten years have gone by. I’m not sure how to feel this time. I wanted to cry for the last month. Now? Now I just feel empty, hollow, and numb…again.

Because of what happened it triggered the receptors for depression. I’m not clinically medicated. I take natural remedies to balance myself out. But lately, getting out of bed is hard. I just want to sleep. It’s a trigger from the year to come. I’ve never been suicidal, though. I always bounce back.

What doesn’t help, is I have few people who are willing to talk to me about it all. What he was like, what him dying did to me. How the past me and the present me are so contrasting they’d be strangers.

No one wants to see scars as deep as that. They’re penetratingly real, and vicious to ignorant eyes and hearts.

I’m used to standing alone. And today, while I had good company trying to keep me from dwelling…I needed to dwell. So I’m off track by a day on my grieving.

This grieving isn’t the same as it was in 2006. This is letting my identity go. I’m a grown woman, with a future ahead of me so far into the unknown it’s beautiful and exhilarating. People can’t handle that reckless restlessness coiling inside of me. Then there are those who wish to contain me. But that just won’t do. I’m freedom seeking; no more obligations, other than to keep my momma in the loop of what it is I’m doing.

I’m not who I was. That path I was meant to be walking shattered out from underfoot a decade ago. Now I’m crafting my own path, spontaneous and beautiful.

My end goal? I just want to be happy. That’s all. I think he can live with that, so long as I’m not having sex with every handsome stranger to come my way. (As if. Still a virgin. What- surprised…?)

May tomorrow bring me release and clarity. And may the future bring me starlight to walk among.

Daddy- I love you. I always will. But let go of your baby girl, and any preconceived notions once established. I’m fiercer now. Steeled. Broken and patched back together with more steel spine and emotional scar tissue covering my heart.

May the world let me fly free. And what’s meant to be, sweetheart, will be.

~ a little white dove

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