Two years ago today, my daddy died. I’m a grown woman and still call him my daddy because that’s the relationship we developed shortly before his passing. Most of my life, our communication was strained, our understanding of each other minimal. He grew up in a time when feelings weren’t shared, especially men’s feelings. And I, a young girl and woman, was all feelings. He didn’t know how to speak my language, and I certainly didn’t know how to speak his language.
But in the last few years of his life, I think two years, we were able to slowly build and deepen our relationship. And though for me, it wasn’t as ideal as I imagined, it was a thousand times better than I hoped. A man who was once so closed I called him a vault, allowed me inside to learn more about him and leave a legacy…a man who rarely voiced anything, wrote poetry with me and was brave enough to share it with the world…a man who opened up to explain why he collected the junk he did and why he was still tender about his cars even after all these years shared his story…a man like many of us who wanted to leave this earth being understood by at least one person, allowed me in.
I was blessed to be that person.
I got a chance to video tape him and ask him questions. And though I didn’t get whole stories and still know little about the actual biography of his life, I do feel I know the heart of my dad and can say a few things in his name. He had so much, gambled with drinking and lost everything, and slowly rebuilt a life he felt comfortable with and lived on his own terms. I didn’t understand many of his quirky ways or why he was so reclusive, but I understand that he was genuinely happy and loved living, which is more than many people would say. I remember in his last months he said he didn’t want me to finish the book or at least he wanted me to write a sequel so he would live longer. I remember being really mad that he didn’t live longer and that I still haven’t finished the book.
Many of you followed me on my journey and cheered me along. I promise it wasn’t in vain. I am going to finish that book this year, even if it’s not perfect, because it was a promise I made to him. And maybe…just maybe my family will read it and feel the words as I felt them and know that we all have GREATNESS inside us..that sometimes our value and goodness are covered by shadows and darkness…and that we need to dig around and shine a light to uncover the Gold in the Soul.
For now, I will hold my Daddy in my heart and use the gifts I learned to guide me.
My plea to each of you is to think about what relationships in your life get to be better because you opened your ears and your heart a little more and you leaned into understanding. It is a most beautiful gift when you do. I can’t wait to hear what happens when you do.
Namaste my friends.