I will miss my father on this Father’s Day as I have on so many others. I will miss him differently than I have missed him for the majority of my life, on the days when he was alive and we were not talking to each other.
My dad died on March 9, 2020, just following his 88th birthday. He died in his own home with his creatures and memories around him, and with me there to help. I am deeply grateful for the tender memories. I am glad I was there.
As my dad lay on his deathbed, I found myself hoping he would utter an end-of-life apology for a half-lifetime of estrangement. I wanted him to soften, maybe crumble slightly, and make verbal peace with me, my three brothers, my sister, and my mother. I waited earnestly, hopeful we would appear in his stories, but we never did. He told stories of his life before us, after us, and around us.
I kept my dad safe and comfortable as he died. I held his hand and reassured him – when he thought he was being shot at – when he felt like he was falling from a ladder – when he shouted out to someone in the distance for help. I held his hand and touched his face. I loved my father.
Daughters need their Daddies. We need unconditional love from our fathers. We need guidance and involvement and adoration. When Daddies adore their Daughters, we are more inclined to expect love and adoration from the world around us.