Long ago, I was given one of the most perfect gifts. Bob. He fills the space in my life where my father should stand. His love for me and my Mom and our family fills the space... and spills over the sides. I am thankful for that every day. Every.day.
Last week my father came to Florida for a visit. I haven't seen him in at least two years. Maybe three. Our relationship hasn't been close since he walked away... sometimes though, I wonder if it ever was. But life moves on and forgiveness moves in... if only to heal my heart. His coming feels like someone I used to know passing through... an obligation without joy. I can't even decide if I wanted to feel more...
We were on our way... and anxiety snuck in. Tears slipped out. Eric continued to drive, and wondered if he should just turn back. My heart was a mix of sadness and anger. The angry tears slid... frustrated that I could let my father do this to me. Because I don't want to hold expectation. I don't want more. My hand clutched in my love's, breathing by his coaching... he asked what I wanted to do.
My father was waiting out front. I had no choice but to pull myself together. I chatted over the silence. I created conversation where there was little. I let my husband make decisions over details, my mind so engrossed in getting through this. There was a little laughter over catching up... and kids filled the space where there was nothing else. He was here a week and I spent six hours with him.
I say goodbye and tell him that I love him.
And then I wonder if it is really true, and sadness sneaks in again.
But maybe sometimes you have to love the space that was given him, even if he can't fill it.