This photo is of Hallie and Daddy just a few days after she was born.
I saw the theme for the week and the first thing that came to my mind was my dad. Now one or maybe a couple of you know about the issues with my biological father. He’s my “father”, meaning anyone can plant a seed. But a “dad” is a whole ‘nother thing.
My “dad” was my stepdad, but only after seven years of his being married to my mom, did I claim him as my own (yeah, it takes me a while to let people in, I’ll admit, especially a father figure, considering my history with my father), but anyway, he was my dad and he always treated me as his own flesh and blood.
A few regrets with him: One would be the fact that Hallie won’t know the wonderful, loving man he was. See, he passed away when she was just two years old. Thank goodness for photographs and videos, so she can see his contagious smile and hear his infectious laughter.
They were smitten with each other. Whenever we’d visit, which was often, Hallie would enter the room, and Daddy’s face would light up with such joy, such love and happiness. Same thing for Hallie. Oh my, how they could make each other laugh. They were tickled by each other’s company. She followed him around like a puppy dog. Best little friends, those two. I regret that she doesn’t remember him and he won’t hold that special place in her heart that he should, because they were both better off for having known each other. At least he will witness how she grows into the wonderful person she is and is becoming. I know he watches us from time-to-time.
The other regret? I was angry with my dad. Over something so small, so unimportant. I had been ignoring him, not speaking. Oh, this only went on for a few days, but the regret is that I can never make amends with him and be on good terms and be happy with each other as a lasting memory. He died suddenly of a heart attack and he was gone. Just like that. I miss him every day. Sure, I’ve apologized to his spirit. I do believe spirits visit us, as my grandparents have both visited me and I felt and heard their presence. I feel my dad’s presence when I smell cigarette smoke. That was him. And I have chats with him sometimes. But, it’s not the same, ya know? I wish I could just have two more minutes with him to tell him, “I’m sorry, Daddy. I was mean. I forgive you, too. I love you, Daddy. I’ve always loved you.” He was a good man. He was there for my mom for nearly twenty years, and he loved and respected her, which won me over. He was there for me, my siblings, and for Hallie. And he will go on living in my heart forever. He’s my Daddy.
Just one lesson for everyone out there: Never let one day pass without making up with those you love. Don’t go to bed angry. You may not get the chance to say ‘I’m sorry’, or ‘I love you’. When they’re gone, it’s too late. Treasure every minute you have with those closest to your hearts – the people that matter most in your life.