By Danielle Gambino
I’ve been waiting for this day, daddy. You have been sick for such a long time. I hope you are resting peacefully. In a place with no heartache. No horrible, tormenting childhoods. No drugs to abuse. No cancer. I pray for that for you.
I wore a black dress. I’ve been planning my outfit for years. Since I was old enough to learn that it was addiction that took you from us. And after that, when the cancer came. And came back again. I’ve been scared. Almost expecting this to come. So I wondered what I would wear. Because I couldn’t bear the thought of you actually being gone. I thought about the dress instead.
I pictured the dress to be form fitting. Black of course. Knee length. Statement jewelry and big sunglasses to hide my ruined makeup. When the phone rang and I heard mommy say you had passed, I lost it. The phone actually fell out of my hands, daddy. I thought that only happens in the movies but I was wrong.
I miss you. I miss what our family could have been if life’s twists and turns didn’t lead us to where we were. I wish my husband got to know you. The real you. The smart one. So naturally intelligent that conversations would last hours. I wish my children got to know you. Got to know that daddy I remember. Who took me to the corner store for candies. Who watched my dance recitals and nicknamed me puppet after a silly routine. A nickname that stuck with me for over 20 years. I will never hear you call me puppet again. Never hear you sing that silly song over the phone. I will miss that. I will miss you.
It was not like I imagined. I forgot to put my sunglasses on to hide my tears. My dress was cotton. An ill fitting maternity sweater dress. I didn’t bring my earrings. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was you. And I know you looked down and thought I looked beautiful. I know how much you like my hair curly. How God made it. You hate how I blow it straight all the time. So thanks. Thanks for the rain, dad. My hair was curly; curly as could be. And I didn’t care. Because it didn’t matter anymore.
I know you are watching over us now. In a place free of pain and heartache. I hope you found peace. I will always cherish the letters you wrote to me, the pictures I have of us, my memories, you walking me down the aisle. I will hold that all close to my heart as I remember you.
So I will try not to be sad. But it won’t be easy. I can say I won’t cry, but you know as well as anyone that I’ve never been good at holding tears back. So I will pray. I pray that you will forever rest in peace. I love you daddy. You will be missed.
**This post appeared originally on Mini’s Mama blog.
Danielle loves to connect with readers on social media, so feel free to share this with a friend, and find her on Instagram and Facebook!