It’s safe to say that I was always yours.
Even when I was fourteen and I total nightmare to be around, I always kept an eye for you. I waited for your opinion first. I looked to see what you were thinking or how you would react to an idea I was toying with or a dream I was voicing. I’m spending my tenth Father’s Day without you in, perhaps, the most cyclical way - performing professionally in a production of the very first Broadway show that you and I ever saw together. It surprises no one that I’m wondering what you’d have to say about that.
My last, most vivid, memory of us together was in the middle of our last summer together, before your life ended and my life drastically began anew. I honestly don’t remember the details of how we spent that day. I do remember spending the afternoon watching television with you on the same couch I’m seated on while writing this. I remember falling asleep with my head in your lap, the way I used to when I was a little girl, feeling your hands in my hair as I drowsily tried to stay awake.
I remember falling asleep deeply enough that I didn’t feel you leave, because I woke up without you. You had gone into the kitchen or upstairs and left me on the couch, asleep. I remember falling asleep that day feeling safe and really loved. It was one of those remarkable moments in life where the blessings you have (in my case, a loving father) really place themselves in front of you directly. I remember waking up alone, feeling safe and really lucky.
There are so many people in my life today that I wish you could meet. You would love my best friends and would swoon over my new nephew. You would be so proud to have seen me make my New York debut at Radio City Music Hall. You would be so impressed with the fact that I wake up at 5:00am - the way you used to. You would adore our dog, Bella. You would have probably cried through my senior recital. You would have been aghast at the incredible weather we had while visiting London. You would have been so impressed with how much more adventurous I am about trying new food than I was when you were alive.
Somehow, ten years later, I am without you but still feel you in little moments like I’ve had today. And so, I feel safe. I am so grateful for our eighteen years together and there are countless reasons that I wish you were still here, but I’m okay, Daddy.
I’m you, and I’m me and I’m Mom and I’m me. I’m so grateful for all of those pieces of your and Mom that make me stubborn and prayerful and loyal and introspective and free-spirited and strong and emotional and organized and confident and adventurous and thoughtful and poised.
For the first time in ten years, I am so grateful for this day, because it reminds me of what I was lucky enough to have for eighteen years.