Loss hits me at the most unexpected times, and leaves me with a familiar longing. How lucky for my friend’s daughter. She has a dad who loves her well.
I imagine what having a dad who loved me well might have looked like: A spontaneous grin at something I said or did. Noticing that I was excited, or happy, or sad. Knowing I could curl up in his lap when the end of the world happened – my best friend was mean to me – and have him pat me on the back as I sobbed. Have him be one of the first to arrive at the auditorium where I was singing a Christmas solo, instead of wait in the car. A dad who would attend my graduation from high school. A dad I could argue with, and have him listen with respect at the clarity of thought, or a different point of view. A dad I could lean into and have him throw an arm around my shoulders, and we could stand like that, comfortably. A dad who would share ear buds. Someone who would love me – for me. Some one with whom little things were collected like shells at the shore, and reminisced about with warmth, humor, and love.
Perhaps the toughest lesson I learned as I worked my way through my childhood stuff was that I hadn’t – nor would I ever have – that relationship. My belief about it, my desire for it, was for me, a fairytale. So when I see a daughter loved by her father, see the complete comfort, familiarity, warmth, humor, tenderness, on the faces of those who love well, I am deeply touched. And despite my occasional sense of loss, what moves me most is that love is filled with hope. I’m a hope magnet. Hope keeps you putting one foot in front of the other when the only way out – is through. Hope begins healing. Hope empowers.
To love, hope, and tender moments!