Dreams of my father

On Wednesday, I made the long journey to visit my father…it had been over 21 years since I had been in his “presence”………

I have two strong childhood memories associated with my father. First, I remember him being there to see me crossover from being a “brownie” to a junior girl scout. In our ceremony, we literally crossed over a bridge to our new group. He was waiting on the other side with a big smile on his face. He was so proud of me that day and he gave me a velcro pink and grey watch………

My second memory of my father is him playing barbies with me. He even helped me construct a tent in which I would play with my barbies under. He would always be my best friend barbie. To this day, it still warms my heart that he did this with me…..

Those two memories I have kept with me for the past 21 years and warm my heart when I think of my father. In fact, those are the only two memories I will ever have of my father because he was tragically taken from this world when I was nine…. I still remember hearing my mother crying as she listened on the phone…..

In the early 1990’s, there was a serial killer going around killing taxi cab drivers in NYC. My father had the misfortune of being one of them. His wake and his funeral were a blur to me. However, I do remember his light blue coffin, the woman who sang Bette Midler’s “Hero”, and  driving out to Long Island to Calverton cemetery. I do not remember crying. I was nine and I think I was in shock. Even a week later I hadn’t cried….

Throughout the years, I had often wondered what my life would have been like if my father was still alive. My parents were divorced at the time of his death, so I knew they wouldn’t have been together, but it would have been nice to have a fatherly presence in my life. I think  the thing I am sad about the most is that I never got to know him for myself. I have to depend on others in my family to tell me stories about how he was (and also about his character). To this day, my great-aunt talks about how my father was an eater, but I wish I could have seen it for myself…

Twenty-one years later, I finally mustered up enough nerve to visit my father’s gravesite. One of my friends was kind enough to drive me out there so I could really say good-bye. It gave me some closure and helped me let go of some of my dreams (of what life would have been like if he was still here).  The funny thing was I didn’t even realize that I was doing this during the week leading up to father’s day. I have had no concept of that holiday for years. But it was nice to finally get a chance to wish him a happy father’s day and be able to say goodbye. Rest in peace daddy.

This entry was posted in being present, dedication, family, giving thanks, journey and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Dreams of my father

  1. Kate says:

    Shanta: thank you so much for sharing your experience. I can only imagine how proud you father would be of the amazing woman you have become. Hugs!!

  2. Melisa says:

    Thank you for sharing this personal story. Although I can never truly understand the loss you feel or the courage it took to go to see him after 21 years. it brings we great Joy to know you have found your own peace of mind.


  3. Denise says:

    Thank you for sharing that. I never knew the circumstances surrounding your dad’s death, but when I heard that he had died, it broke my heart. I had a huge crush on him. Lol. He was the nicest and the most fun addition to our family!!! I don’t have any clear memories of him, but I do remember always being happy to see him and listen to his stories. I’m so glad you got the chance to finally visit him.

  4. Natural Mama says:

    I am in tears right now. I am sure he would be so proud of the lady you have become.

  5. brandnewphd says:

    Thank you all. I was struggling with if I should post this or not. As everyone knows, there definitely is a fine line between “just enough” and TMI, but I felt that I should share this part of me.

  6. J says:

    Wow, what a powerful post! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Donnell says:

    This is deep. Thanks be to God that He is your father now. Thanks for your honesty and open heart.

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