Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just Missing Dad

And the Watch More Movies initiative continued with going to see True Grit in the theatre this past weekend.  I was really looking forward to seeing this, it's getting great reviews and several friends saw it and loved it. 
The original, which I've never seen, was one of my father's favorite movies.  When I was in my early twenties and had just moved to Florida by myself and was trying to make a life here, he wrote me a letter and said that he was proud of me and that I had "true grit".  And yet I never watched the movie.
I know without any doubt that my Dad loved me, and I know that he knew I loved him.  With the spectre of sudden tragedy never out of my fearful neurotic mind, I really try hard to tell people that I love them, and to spend time with them; I don't want to have any regrets.  But what I didn't know would pluck at my tender heart are the missed opportunities, the things that seem so clearly vital now but didn't even occur to me at the time. 
Why didn't I watch the movie and talk to him about what he loved about it?  Better yet, why didn't I think to sit down and watch it with him during a visit?  I try not to beat myself up for things like that, I can't go back in time and change how my head worked and plant the idea, but it hurts to imagine what a wonderful thing it would have been.  It really, really hurts.
So I sat in the theatre and watched the movie and wondered what Dad would have thought of this new version.  I liked the movie very much, and when it was over Greg and I stayed to read the credits, like we always do.
And all of a sudden I just started sobbing.  I was aware of being kind of sad, but honestly I had no idea that tears were coming.  Greg held me and I cried for a couple of minutes.
A few days ago a friend's father died.  In tribute to him, she got a tattoo, and posted photos of it on her Facebook page.  My sad heart hurts for her.  Last week my co-worker's father passed away, tonight I'll go to the service at the funeral home.  My heart cries for her, too.  It's just too much sadness.
Here's a favorite picture of me and my sweet Daddy:


  1. That picture of you and your daddy says it all. Definitely a mutual adoration society! How truly lucky you are to have had a man such as he was for a father, for all the years that you had him. That is something. I think when we are fathered by good men, we are more likely to choose as partners the kind of men who will hold us in a movie theater when we cry because we miss our dad. This is so moving.

    Hugs to you dear friend.

  2. Angella, I am lucky to have had him for a father. And I suspect you're right about the partners we choose. Big squeezy hugs back to you, my friend.

  3. I think, sometimes, I have been swallowed whole by the sea of guilt I feel toward my father. All kinds of emotions, feelings of inadequacy, of impotence in how his life ended, and anger at a world where such could happen.

    I am always in wonderment to those who had a strong, loving bond with their fathers. How whole they seem. How unimaginably complete.

    They seem to shatter that much harder, when their fathers eventually are taken from them.

    Never be afraid to trail your fingers in the waters of sadness. A good soak can clean away many things, and you do honor in his memory by seeking to know more of his mind, on a film, of a moment, in any thing.

    Just don't stay out there overlong. You'll catch cold.

    The thing I have always been jealous about is how quickly some people seem to be able to put back together the pieces.

  4. Geoff, it's a shame your father isn't here to know you as an adult. Thank you for being my friend.

  5. I love this: "Never be afraid to trail your fingers in the waters of sadness. A good soak can clean away many things."

    That Geoff has some wisdom.

  6. Hi, popped over from Geoff's blog. There seems to be a lot of missing of fathers going around on blogs I read lately. Its bittersweet for me to read, as my dad is sick now. Recurrence of throat cancer. He was extremely weak and so close to gone before he agreed to go to the hospital last month. It was a very helpless feeling watching him slip away, and we're not even that close. I know I'd miss him very much.

  7. Hi violetsinblue, thanks for visiting. I'm so sorry to hear about your father's illness, I hope things are getting better for him. Fathers take up special room in a person's heart, no one else can ever fill that space.


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