He was my first love…my dad.
His hand was always available to hold. He taught me how to ride a bike, how to change a tire, shoot a gun and threatened the first boy who broke my heart.
Not every memory is that of perfection. That’s from my dad, too…realism. Honesty. Truth. He always said they were the better way.
But, five years ago, the real world dealt me a terrible hand. My father, at the age of 66, took his own life. They call that suicide. I’m still not sure what to call it. For me, it’s a combination of anger, loss, turmoil, grief, questions, guilt, etc. A single word doesn’t seem big enough to contain the full expanse of emotions.
I’m still not that comfortable talking about it. I still get mad at the family history he left my children. I still don’t understand.
He taught me the joy of life and we shared a great deal of that happiness together. He expected me to get good grades and always told me how much common sense I had (in a jar somewhere 🙂 ).
I beat him fair and square in a one on one basketball game and he never quite admitted it. We all have our pride.
I wonder if there was anything I could have done to prevent his choice to end his life and I hear him say: “woulda, coulda, shoulda…don’t dwell.”
The anger sometimes bubbles up. The loss stings, like a fresh wound. The grief can punch me in the gut and steal my breath.
I don’t think I will ever understand.
That’s real…honest and truthful. He always said they were the better way.