It was 12 years ago today that we said goodbye to my dad. I never called him Dad in my life, he was Daddy. Now I find myself hesitant to call him Daddy, to remember what that was like, what that meant, to have a Daddy.
He died at 52, of his first and only heart attack. It was a huge shock, he was one of those big invincible people. I don't cry over him anymore, maybe once a year or less, but the ache, the gap is always there. It's interesting. It doesn't work like sand on the beach, where time and water shapes it back, fills in the holes, different, but whole. You never get over losing a person, their place is never filled.
The first few years, I dreamed about him all the time. I would ask him questions about the computer, and he'd answer. In the dreams, he'd always be back, alive, just for a minute, but I knew he'd have to die again. Those were bad dreams, even though I got to see him. I don't dream about him anymore, but I still think, "I need to tell Daddy..."
I was the baby of the family, the last one of 5, and I was spoiled. "Not spoiled rotten," he'd say. "Just enough." The night before he had the heart attack, I tried on a bridesmaid dress at his house, for a friend's wedding. He said, "You look bee-youtiful." The next day, he called me because his computer was finally arriving by Fed-Ex and he wanted me to come see it. "I'll come over later," I said, busy with R2 and all his medical gadgets. The next time I saw him, he was unconscious. He never got off the phone without saying "I love you", so I'm sure those were his last words to me, my last words to him, even though I can't remember.
I miss him. I miss being Daddy's girl. Even if I talk my mom into marrying an ailing octogenarian millionaire, I will never have a Daddy on this side again. I hate that. But I believe in heaven now. When I get there, I expect to see my sons, spoiled just enough by my dad, all of them together.
poems about daddy