For being the one who likes to examine and tackle all things relationship (and has delved into love, sex, romance, break-ups and friendships), I've been pretty skittish in tackling family relationships, mainly because that kind of dynamic is one that even goes over my head and throws my analytical skills out of whack. It's especially hard to tackle when you're dealing with the death of a family member -- a reality that's hit too close to home these days with my father's passing.
For all of my life, my father and I had a tricky relationship as we struggled to understand each other. And while I know there are tons of things we never got to say to each other, in spite of it all, he loved me. And, even though he may not have always known it, I loved -- and love -- him.
While the wounds are still fresh and I try to wrap my head around this milestone, I know that there are things I'll never have answered. So now, as I explore all my feelings, I wanted to dedicate this post to my father and his memory, realizing that even with all the words we did say, there are many more words that may not have been said... But it doesn't mean they weren't felt.
It's the holidays again... And while it's been years since I've written a letter to Santa, what I want this year isn't something he can give me. So this time, this one's to you.
First, let me say that I know we've always struggled... And while we weathered those ups and downs, I'm sure that I was tricky to love at times. But you did, without reservation, without doubt, without question. Maybe we were both too strong-willed to ever buckle -- but there we were, two sides of the same coin, both trying to hold on to whatever we could as father and daughter. I know all the while, all you wanted to do was hold on to memories of my mother, who meant so very much to you.
Over the years, as I got older, I started questioning the past and present less, and asked myself more of what I could do to move beyond what I couldn't explain. While I don't know if I'll ever have all the answers I want, I'll never doubt that you loved me the way you knew how. And that the one -- and best gift -- you gave me was the gift of Chance -- a chance to thrive in a world where I could be the best version of myself, which I'm more than sure I am today.
So now that you've given me that, which I have not forgotten, I want you to know three things I want for this season:
- I want you to have peace, knowing that I do respect everything you had to do that you thought was best for me
- I will pray and hope for the strength to push fear aside and love with all I've got -- not making anyone else responsible for anything that may have happened in the past
- I want you tounderstand that I always held a place for you in my heart
And I hope that you can rest knowing my brother and sisters and I? We'll be OK.
One more thing. If you had any doubt, know now: I love you. Always have. Always will.