It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to my father. A sentence no one ever expects to hear muttered from their lips, certainly not from me given the unshakable bond my father and I always maintained so religiously.
But life is not a fairy tale or worse yet a Hallmark movie where irreparable circumstances are easily and painlessly resolved in under two hours. Whether the individuals in question are your friends, your spouse, or even your parents, the relationships we foster and propagate are not always enough for a sustainable or guaranteed future together.
It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to my father yet I’m often reminded of him when I’m doing the simplest of things like surfing through television channels late at night and landing on a program the two of us always shared in common and referenced dialogue from constantly.
Or when I’m flipping through a car magazine or scrolling through automotive news on my phone and for a brief second find myself eager to share something I’ve read or a photograph I’ve seen which I know he’d like and would encourage an endless conversation between us.
It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to my father yet I can’t help but remember him while engaged in one DIY project or another around my house – drawing upon the unique skills and techniques he taught me while I excitedly watched him work as a little boy at his side. Though admittedly, neither one of us was very good at plumbing.
While scrolling through mind-numbing posts on Facebook, there are times I’ll come across sons and daughters flaunting the amazing relationships they share with their fathers. Syrupy sweet messages that seem right at home in the aforementioned Hallmark movie leaving me to question their sincerity while being envious of the possibility that it’s true.
I never thought I’d find myself without his advice, support, laughter, discussions, and most of all his friendship. But if I’ve learned anything from this life after 45 years it’s this – hold tight to the people you cherish and spend as much time as you can enjoying the simple moments we all think are so meaningless.
Because life often doesn’t go the way we want it to. Conflicts will undoubtedly arise when we least expect them and many times we’re unprepared in how best to navigate the uncharted waters we never dreamed we’d find ourselves now sailing upon.
While it’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to my father, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped loving him, caring about his well-being, and hoping that the choices he’s made have brought him some kind of contentment after all these years.
For me, I live with a series of regrets and what-ifs wondering if there was anything else I could have done that might have changed the outcomes. But we can’t burden ourselves with regrets and what-ifs as easy as it may be.
We only have this time right here and now to live our lives. This moment to make the best day possible regardless of the regrets and what-ifs that plague our waking lives.
It’s not always easy around birthdays, holidays, and ordinary days when I think about my father. But I’m grateful for all the time, lessons, love, and laughter we shared for many, many years. Those are memories no one can take away from either of us.