The last time I remember having a face-contorted eyes swollen rivers of salty tears cry was after Emily and I walked out of the lawyer's office and sat in the Pilot and cried together over the finality of divorce. 2005.
Today it happened, and again I was in a truck. This time not one I had just given away, fortunately...
I was driving home from Barnes and Noble after a cup of coffee while reading Donald Miller's To Own a Dragon when it happened. Oh I've felt it coming, and I knew it would happen soon.
For weeks now, maybe the last few months, I've been pining for my dad. This happens occasionally, once or twice a year, but this time I've been feeling it stronger than ever.
It's been 12 years since he left us. That 5 am phone call from Uncle Clancy is still as fresh as this morning...
"You've gotta be kidding me" I tried, but
"No, DV, I wouldn't kid you about something like this."
It was the first phone call I had ever gotten from Clancy. The entire call only lasted maybe 2 or 3 minutes and that was it, he was gone. Emily was there with me when he called. My dad had met her once or twice over the few years we had been dating. [that he had met Emily give me some solace in that it's the only way my dad would know the other contributer to the grandkids I hadn't yet had, and maybe that would mean he had in a way known them somehow. If only they could know him...]
I was 21 and was supposed to start the first day of my second year of med school the day he died. I took a few days off to be around his family, my family, and help sort through his painfully few worldly possessions. And I moved on, not realizing that I was numb and would be for years... Maybe I still am.
Tonight I realized how much of my dad I didn't have, I don't have. The summer I turned 9 we moved 200 miles away from him. 167 miles to be exact, at least according to the sign just outside of town that I would read every other weekend when I would ride the Greyhound bus alone to be with him.
I still am not sure why we had to move away. I never really questioned it, and even now I don't think I want to know. I know my mom had a boyfriend whose family was close to where we moved, and we moved in with him. He later would become my step-dad; still is 25 years later... I believe I would have had more of my dad if we hadn't moved, and I'm pretty sure that would have been a positive thing although how could I know for sure? We moved, I left my dad, he couldn't come (why couldn't he move too, anyway?), and I grew up taking once or twice a month bus trips.
I came out of it an ok person, I just miss my dad... A lot.