I wish you were here these days, as they have been tough. I could use a little of your strength.
I know that we weren’t the closest over the years. All those things you worked so hard to teach me got in the way. Independence, self sufficiency, toughness, self possession, reserve, to exercise my brilliance – all those things made for a bit of distance between us. You were one of the few who understood about being a solitary island. I remember those years of physical therapy when I had to learn to be a person again. You didn’t say much then, but you never let me give up – I counted on that when the pain was overwhelming. And the Colonel never let them hurt me, not really.
I learned all those lessons well, and they have stood me in good stead. Growing up you didn’t always agree with my choices or actions but you always respected them. You were always willing to talk to me about anything.
I would give a lot to have you here now. We’d sit down at that old, battered kitchen table like we used to. You’d have your ever present cup of black coffee, the brew strong enough to strip paint. Our conversations were always spare and direct, cutting right to the heart of the matter. I’m sure you would still play devil’s advocate – I used to hate it when you did that, but I learned so much from it as well. We would sit and talk through what was going on and you would be the solid rock buffeted by the storm of my frustrations. Then you would tell me that I was a big girl who could deal with the hardships and you would give me one of your strong hugs, which is the thing I miss so much.
I stopped at the store today to smell the Old Spice just so I could be a little closer to you.
I miss you Dad.