I miss my Dad.
He’s been dead since 1994. He died of a heart attack while living in his old room at his Mom’s house. He and my Mom were separated. They couldn’t see eye to eye.
There hadn’t been a lot of real communication all along anyway.
In a way I could say he was never really alive.
He was abused by his parents. He was never good enough for them. They treated him like a stupid child. He was sullen as a father, and greedy as a person. I was embarrassed to bring boyfriends home.
But I miss him.
Do I miss what could have been? Do I miss the Dad of my imagination? Would I feel an opposite amount of joy for my sadness if he were still alive today?
I can’t know.
I know that when I saw a picture of him today, laughing, joyful, I was struck with sadness. I am sad for what never was. I am sad for a life not lived fully. I am sad that I never saw him live up to his potential. I am sad that he was crushed by life, by other’s demands on him. I’m sad that he didn’t live at a time where mental health professionals had better tools in their kits.
He taught college English anywhere and any place he could. He did distance learning before anybody had a word for it. He would teach people the joys of writing and reading fine authors in the evening in high schools, in the afternoon in prisons, wherever a class could be formed. Teaching was his life.
It has been nearly twenty years since he has died. I think he would be very proud of the person I’ve become.
I know that he loved me more than he had words to tell me.
I know that he tried his best.
I don’t know if I’m crying more for me, or for him.