For the past several weeks, I have been functioning on a minimal amount of sleep. As a result, I have done things that I haven't done in years... Watching the sun rise before closing my eyes and waking early enough to see it's first rays peek above the eastern sky... Sitting alone, in the still, quiet of the night, just me and my thoughts...
To be honest, it hasn't been all that bad. The steroids have been giving me just enough oomph to make it through the days and, according to my guys, I have been spared the majority of the irritability and moodiness that was promised in mile-long list of medication side-effects. I am thankful for that.
As I was sitting awake the other night, my thoughts randomly turned to my dad. For most of you, that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, but around here, it is a rare occurrence. You see, I haven't spoken to my dad in years... Once in the past sixteen to be exact.
In his heart, my dad is a good man. A witty, smart, and generous soul. Unfortunately, the ghosts of his past haunt his mind and have him ensnared to an evil master... alcohol. Years of hard drinking have literally destroyed his life.
Early in our marriage, my dad begged my hubby and I to help him conquer his demons. We moved heaven and earth to get him what he so desperately needed. Despite our best efforts, our hopes for his future were destroyed by a series of lies and deceptions. We had to walk away, the offer of help still extended from our hand. He has never reached out to take it again.
In reality, my dad and I are more like strangers than family. He doesn't know my hubby, my boy, and if I'm being honest, he doesn't know me. I am not the same twenty-one-year-old girl that had to turn and walk away from him all those years ago. So much has changed.
When his face came to my mind the other night, there was no anger in my heart. I have long since forgiven any wrongs and wish, for his sake alone, he would find peace. I only feel a pang of sadness when I think about all that he has missed in the past seventeen years.
My dad has only laid eyes on my boy once, a then almost two-year-old ring bearer at my sister's wedding. As he turned and walked away, he could have never foreseen all that he was giving up. He didn't know that my little redhead would share his deep love for fishing, the great outdoors and good music. He just couldn't see...
In that brief moment of sadness I had for what could have been, I was filled with such gratitude and thankfulness for what IS. My dad is missing out on all of this, but I am not. I am here, right in this moment, with my wonderful hubby and amazing son.
I have breathed in the intoxicating smell of my newborn son. I have memorized every inch of my hubby and boy's faces and know the way each of their hands fits so perfectly in mine. They know me, and I know them.
Like everyone, our life has had it's share of ups and downs. There have been incredible highs and almost crushing lows. We have laughed until our sides have ached from joy and shed countless tears. There is nothing unique about our story in that regard.
What is a rare thing, at least in my book, is our deep love and devotion to one another. Despite our many individual quirks and faults, we are a family and we have chosen to live our life together as one. For me, that is the most wonderful thing.