When I see his name on my caller ID, I pick up and say, “Hi Dad!” And every time, he laughs. Like he’s delighted that he has someone in his life to call him that.
Well, I’m delighted to have someone in my life to call Dad.
I think I must still be overwhelmed. I don’t think I can fully wrap my head around the fact that I have someone to send a Father’s Day card to this year. For the first time in my life.
Bill and I are going to Maine in May. Just a Thursday-to-Tuesday trip, which will certainly not be long enough – not only for spending time with my father, but also not long enough to eat all the seafood. ALL OF IT.
I’m struggling with the thought that I should have tracked him down years ago. So much time wasted, lost. So many memories that could have been gathered. I tell myself that everything happens when it’s supposed to happen; that I found him now because I was supposed to find him now.
But ten years ago would have been better.
People are the sum of their experiences; this has changed and will continue to change me. Leaving my heart open for this experience has been surprisingly easy, if bittersweet and a little scary. Living with regrets is hard. The fact that my regrets could have been much larger, had I waited longer or even not reached out to my father at all, helps sometimes.
In order to pursue joy in life, one cannot be afraid to experience pain. So here’s the fear that I’ve been refusing to say out loud.
I already love him, and I haven’t even met him face-to-face yet. And he’s 74. There’s not enough time. I should have done this ten years ago. Fifteen. Twenty.