Friday, October 15, 2010

Photographs

It was not the first time I had tried to wish and pray myself into a picture.

When I was 12, Nickelodeon started playing reruns of the Monkees TV show. I fell head first into my first celebrity crush...Micky Dolenz, the handsome and curly haired drummer of the 1960s band was the first guy to make my heart pound. Never mind that he was in his 40s by the time I was introduced to him. My Mom helped to feed my obsession when she dug through her old record collection, and found me an original Monkees album, which I then listened to ad nauseum on my record player.

Not long afterwards, I read a book in which the main character stared so hard at a picture she found herself tumbling into it, and she had a whole new life inside the photograph. My 12 year old self thought about how awesome this would be, and I am embarrassed to admit, tried mightily to wish myself into a picture of Micky Dolenz on the beach. I found the picture on the back of the album cover, and boy oh boy, did I want to join his 20 year old handsome self next to the sand and the surf.

A couple of days ago, I was looking through pictures of our trip to the lake last summer. I was missing my dad terribly, and I needed to see his face. I came across a picture of my Dad and I playing shuffleboard on the court behind our cabins. We had the best time together. He beat the pants off me the first three games we played. The next night though, I started to get the hang of it. He was proud of me for giving him a challenge, but I never did beat him. When I looked into the picture, I saw him as he was just three short months ago. So strong. So healthy. I was overwhelmed with a sense of disbelief. How can it be that he isn't here anymore? How can it be possible that I can't call him on the phone and remind what a great time we had playing shuffle board? He was so healthy. And so vibrant. Neither of the people in the picture had any clue our time left together was so short, and we wouldn't have believed it if you had told us.

And then I stared and stared at my Dad. And I wanted so badly to go inside that photograph and be able to have that one night with him again. To give him a hug and tell him I love him one more time. Or to be able to warn him of the future, and beg him not to get that stupid surgery. I know it doesn't do any good to keep thinking it, or saying it, but ohmygosh....I want my Daddy back.

And then I remembered being 12 and doing the same thing, and I had to giggle a little. It also made me remember that my Dad took me to a Monkees concert the year I was 12, at Rosenblatt stadium. It was my first and only concert I have ever been to, and I loved it. He even brought me a Monkees souvenir book and I still have it. I am sure Dad was miserable, but I am so thankful that he was the kind of Dad who was willing to be miserable just to make his daughter happy.

They aren't enough to make up for him being gone, or to fill the empty void, but I am so glad that I have so many wonderful memories of my Dad. I am so glad that I told him I loved him so many times after his surgery. I would welcome the chance to tell him a thousand more times, but I know that he knows.

The one thing I am sure of, and the one thing that does make me feel better, is that I still feel his love for me. All the way from heaven.

1 comment:

John and Teresa said...

i love hearing all the stories about your dad. in the short time i knew him, the way he loved his family and friends was and is so incredibly evident. he not only put everyone before himself but he loved doing it. i know words don't help, but i am thinking of you constantly.

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