Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ma Familia: Daddy Dearest

Last week, I had all intentions of continuing with my spotlights on family, and writing about my dad. It didn’t happen. I started to a few times, but couldn’t quite find the right words. It’s a hard topic for me. I love my dad, but talking about him is a source of great hurt for me. I’ve always thought he was one of the best people I’ve ever known. I still think that. I was daddy’s little girl, and that relationship has helped shape the person I am today. I have some great memories of my Dad. What’s the problem then, right?

The problem is that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when I was very young. The problem is that I was stuck watching one of the most important people in my life to suffer, unable to do a thing about it. It’s heartbreaking. It’s something I’ve struggled with talking about for a very long time. Even now, I’ve been married for three years, and have a friend that I can share absolutely anything and everything with, and I find it hard to talk about that topic. In a way, his health has changed the way I think of him. Sure, I remember the good things, the great times, the things he taught me. But, then I remember what it’s done to my family, and how it’s shaped my life, and what I’ve missed out on, and what I used to have. So often, I think of something I wish I could call and ask my dad about, or I wish he could come visit me or help with our house. And now, I think about my relationship with my grandpas, how wonderful a grandpa my dad would’ve made, and how much my daughter will miss out on. I find a little comfort in knowing that she will at least have one Grandpa who loves her as much as we do, who plays with her, who supports her, and who encourages her.

Just like I wish my husband could’ve known my Dad when he was well. I know I’ll wish the same for my daughter. She would’ve stood on his feet as they danced in the living room. He would’ve told her jokes, taught her to whistle, teased her and made her laugh. He would have taught her about honesty, and love, and family. He would’ve told her how pretty she was, how talented she was, and how much worth she had, to God and to us. He would’ve helped shape her in the ways he helped shape me.

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