This is about how I feel TODAY.
For the people that have followed me for a while, you know a little of the the history of me and my Dad. For those that haven't known me very long, this previous post (Single Track Junkie: "The Visit") from last year will explain a lot. I haven't seen him since last year, but we have talked on the phone on a semi-regular basis.
My Dad invited me to his house yesterday because his brother was visiting from Washington and his sister from Arizona. I agreed to go because it sounded important to him that I be there.
What I didn't know, before hand, was how important it would be to ME that I be there. The last picture in my head of my Dad, he is a 55 old man. He is turning 75 this year.
I wanted to be there early, before everyone arrived so he and I could have some alone time. As soon as he opened the door, I could see the tears in his eyes. He gave me a huge hug and held me for a while. He told me it was so good to see me. I truly believed him.
As we sat in the living room talking, I was looking over his shoulder at the shelves with framed pictures on them. The last picture he has of Sara is from preschool. There were no pictures of me, except the one I gave him last year when he was in the hospital. He has no wedding photos of me and Keith.
He pulled out an old box of pictures and wanted me to write on the back of them, what grade I was in. There were a ton of pictures in this box of my oldest brother's kids but again I noticed the lack of Sara pictures. All those years he missed out on seeing my daughter change and grow into a young lady. He truly has missed out on a lot. He realizes this. And so do I.
I know we both played equal parts in the time lost. He's not the same man he was 20 years ago, I'm not the same woman. We were both stubborn. We were both wrong. We have both suffered! It wasn't worth it.
On the drive home, I was thinking back to when Sara was 17 years old and her father brainwashed her into moving in with him for her last year of high school. After a year of pure hell prior to her actually moving, she only lasted 2-1/2 weeks before she moved back home. But, this devastated me beyond what anybody can ever imagine. It took me into the deepest, darkest hole I've ever been in.
I couldn't help but wonder if my Dad ever had feelings like that after he and I had our last argument on the phone. I hope not.
He gave me a birthday card (tomorrow is my birthday). The first one I have received from him in a long time. There was a very nice hand written note inside. After dinner he brought out a strawberry pie and they sang happy birthday to me. Every time I looked his way, he was just looking at me, smiling.
I'm a little sad today. I remember last year after seeing him in the hospital, I attempted to run the Diablo 25k. I had to turn around because my emotions got the best of me. It's good today that I can identify my sadness and deal with it immediately.
Thanks for listening.