26 March 2011

August 15, 2010

A long time ago, I wrote on my list of “100 Things To Do Before I Die” that I wanted to visit my dad’s grave before I went off to college.

When I was about 10 years old, I flew by myself to Hawaii to visit extended family.

One day we took a trip to Pearl Harbor, and as I got on the boat I passed by someone who I’ll never forget. This complete stranger, completely unaware, looked exactly like my dad – preserved in his youth of the photos in my house. As a 10 year old, I completely believed for that summer that, somehow, my dad was alive and this man was him and somehow he’d stayed young all this time living another life all these 10 years – with complete loss of me or my mom or anyone else.

But, of course, it wasn’t him.

The realization of this impossible scenario, filled me with a kind of sadness I hadn’t felt until that moment. As a kid, part of me imagined that he’d someday come back, and I just had to be a good kid for my mom and wait patiently with her. It wasn’t until that day on the boat that I really, fully understood my situation. My dad passed away when I was 2 ½ months old; there’s only one photo of him holding me – because he was always the photographer. A lot of my artistic traits come from him. He knew how to sew, draw, he loved photography, and he was really great at fixing hair. I grew up being told that he was a kindhearted, gentle soul who hardly ever got mad.

It’s painful losing someone you know and love, but I think people also forget how it feels to lose someone you wanted to know the most, but didn’t get the chance.

I’ve always felt my dad watching over me and keeping me safe, but there’ll always be the pain in my chest. Realizing he couldn’t congratulate me for graduating high school, and realizing I’ll never know if I’m making him proud or happy. And I don’t really know who’s going to walk me down the aisle when I get married – but I know that my dad will still be with me, even if I can’t see him.

I was hoping the sun would shine today for him again, like it did last year, but the beauty of the sky is that it’s always shining – we just can’t always see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment