I miss my Dad.
I think my readers (and, certainly those of you, otherwise, closer to me) know that he took his own life on October 6th, the day before my Birthday. That was a good number of years ago. But, the rawness of it still explodes at the back of my skull every October. I had this gripping post ready to go. But, I’ve sat on it for weeks, uncertain why, until now.
Yesterday I had a good day with Emma Jo.
A quick aside, if you’ll indulge me… I spend a good amount of time with Haley Anne – especially around proper football (soccer). She is gorgeous. And, yesterday I realized that she is developing a love for writing, in her own right. My Dad had more of a gift for drawing. But, her creativity, in general, would have delighted him.
Meanwhile… We are preparing to move our household deeper North into Alpharetta (Milton) horse country off Freemanville Road. There is a long story attached to this. But, I’m more interested in some of the highlights occurring in and around the “big picture”.
While rummaging through the storage spaces in, what will shortly be referred to as the “old house”, we came upon containers crammed with family photos. In one crumbling box was a treasure trove of photo albums and curling black and white snap shots of Haley Anne and Emma Jo’s ancestors. This included my Dad in many an enigmatic situation. There were a bunch of them with him with his arm around me. Or, me hugging him from behind while he worked on some project (this made me recall that I often hugged my Dad. I never shied away from that, even in public, through High School and College). And, these fascinated Emma Jo. She took right to them with an endless and insightful stream of questions. But, the best part was the bonding as she snuggled into me. So, she was my “buddy” all day. We made a few trips back-and-forth to the “new house” having loaded up my big black bad-ass truck. And, we were fortunate to have another classically beautiful Georgia Fall day because the drivers-side window is broke and won’t close. So, we had this incredible moment with a lull in the easy conversation when Emma Jo was caught thinking carefully between questions and observations. She looked so happy. The golden light was pouring through the window and highlighting her hair, still almost white from the lake and sun, that had the wind pushing wildly around her shoulders and face. Her cobalt blue eyes were bright as diamonds. She looked over at me winsomely and shrugged, rather shyly. And, it struck me that Dad had ironically created this moment.
I was so incredibly thankful.
Dad was a better man than me. And, I was fortunate to have him in my life. And, he is always my inspiration for the sort of earthly father I try to be every day. So… October sixth can come and go. But, Dad and Mom live on through Emma Jo and Haley Anne. And, all of it means me living the Authentic Life.