I have thought a lot about my father this year. September will mark the ten-year anniversary of when he died. He passed one year and seven days after 9-11. In the days leading up to that one-year mark, I had hoped and prayed Death wouldn’t snatch him from me on the same day towers had fallen and crushed the people trapped inside. I knew my father was dying – I just didn’t have a date for when he would be gone.
I watched him struggle and suffer a lot in the last five years of his life. We were both treading choppy waters, but my youth was bearing the trials and tribulations of entering adulthood while his own aging years were trying to cope with all that had been lost. Taken. Robbed. There was someone whose ugly greed and selfishness had stripped him of everything he had built from nothing because she thought she deserved it all, but her story is not that important compared to my father’s. Her story was not significant at all.
There were years when I fought my dad, the stubborn bitch that invades young girls overrun by hormones striking against what she thought was right and wrong, and sometimes our push and pull brought us closer, as he often accepted I was growing up and sadly loosened the parental leash he wished could stay tight forever. By giving me some slack – more and more as I prepped for college and sought the refuge of a tumultuous first love – he inevitably brought me back to him. Deep in my soul, I didn’t want to disappoint him, and that alone enabled me to learn from my mistakes and overcome troubled waters where I often chose to swim.
I lost my dad at twenty-one years old. I never had a chance to have a drink with him at a bar when I was of legal age, though we had shared a beer or cocktail at home or a friend’s barbecue from time to time after I went to college. He will never walk me down an aisle or peruse the rooms of my first home. Yet his stoic nature, his practical outlook, and his well-intentioned heart live inside me and each day remind me where I have come. His flaws have given me goals to conquer, as I see certain side of his character present in my own. I strive for the good and try to control the bad. I examine the perilous paths his life took in various years and hope to avoid them now and in the future. There are – and will be – some I can’t change, but how I handle them is owing to my father because he carved the first path, the hardest one to dig, the easier for your children to walk and learn.
– Written by Miss A on June 23, 2012