Gratitude and Goodbyes

I spent a great deal of my 20’s with Daddy issues.  Longing for a dad that was different from the one I was born too.  One that was like the movies.

Mine wasn’t

But mine was perfect for me.   At 44 I can see that now.

It is 0945 on the 9th of July.  My dad died in my arms at 0705 this morning.

I am now back at his house.  Sitting in his bed.  writing.

Darren, dad’s unofficial son came and picked me up from the hospice and took me back here.  Gave me the key to his car and said use it.

As I arrived I got a facebook message from my soul sister Susana.  From all the way in Spain she felt my ache and reached out.   The tears flowed.  She said the things I needed to hear.

Soon my responsibilities will kick in.  The unhoarding of the hoarders paradise.  I will clean and release.  A summer time Santa for the homeless and the seniors in the area.

But for now.  For now I remember the man.  The challenging man who taught me to love through the gruff.   To be a lion tamer.   The man that taught me to drive a stick shift by putting me in one giving me a few minute lesson and then making me drive through Atlanta.   I don’t think I was even 15 at the time.   Rules did not apply to my dad.  They were for others.

He taught me to challenge the status quo.  He taught me to look out for the environment.  He taught me to fight.  He taught me to be strong.  He taught me to think for myself.  He taught me how to fish.  How to stalk game (I could never bring myself to shoot though).  He taught me accidentally how to meditate by sticking me on a deer stand for hours at a time with nothing to do but think.   He taught me to look out for the men and women who look after others.  He taught me how to respect people.  He taught me to drive.   He taught me the joy of road trips.  He taught me the happiness that comes from being underwater.  He taught me to dive.   He taught me to type.  To never be afraid to ask questions.  To be a life long learner.  To invent shit.  To create.  To read a map.  To get lost and get found.  To have endless adventures.  To make friends of strangers.  To charm.   He taught me that everything is figureoutable.

By his own humanity he taught me to look much deeper at people.  To see them deep into their soul and love them unconditionally but not stupidly.   He taught me how to construct walls and moats when required but also how to build a draw bridge that I could control.

He saved my life underwater as my dive buddy in the Camen Islands.  He was always my protector.

When my mum and him split when I was 1 he could have moved away and started again.  Not unusual for that era…but he didn’t.  He stayed for me.  He always lived close so that he could see me even when I was a stroppy teen.   He dealt with my anger.  He dealt with my disappointment in him not being perfect.

He made me laugh.  He made me cry.

He strapped a pillow to his ass when he went roller skating at a birthday party of mine and made me cringe but I also secretly admired his complete lack of shits given.

He taught me to think differently.  He taught me the power of a fathers love.   He taught me that I was more than anything else so incredibly worthy of love…as was he.   He taught me how to crack open my heart and let another human completely inside. IMG_1972[1] IMG_1973[1] IMG_1976[1]

Dad I’m gonna miss you you handsome old goat.