How do you ever really give yourself completely to another?
Is there ever really anyone who will love you when you're a prince and also when you're a frog? Is there anything besides a dog that will accept who you are unconditionally?
I think I had such a person once, in the form of my father. He had a headstrong, stupid teenager to deal with. He locked me out of the house more than once, promised to ship me off to a military school more than once, pretty much picked apart everything I did. And in return, I often slowed wayyyyyyyy down when doing something for my dad. And as I was something of a smart aleck, I am certain that he probably never appreciated the genuis behind my biting wit.
I could also go to him at any hour and discuss any subject. Which didn't mean he wasn't judgmental-he told me what he thought. Bluntly. Very seldom did I get "I don't know" when I went to Dad to try to work something out. If I was wrong, he didn't hesitste to slice me up. When I was right, nobody was quicker to back me up. He paid my bills when I got sick, took care of my beloved German Shepherd, was there almost all the way through a horrible divorce that I'd have avoided had I actually listened to what he was telling me to begin with.
From the age of 12 on, my dad and I were all we had. My mother remarried and I saw her only sporadically for a couple of years.
My dad passed away the 20th of June in 1996. I do not remember anymore how often I picked up a phone to call my dad and talk to him about something, or just talk to him, and then remember that I couldn't do that anymore. He was the one adult person on Earth I actually trusted, and losing him was beyond devastating-to this very day, there exists a hole that I will simply never be able to fill, because nobody will ever love me that way again.
For all of the bullshit of my teen years, and all of the headaches of a young man who wasn't ever adept at things like relationships or parenting, I want to thank my dad for being the one person I could count on. If there was some way I could talk to my dad right now and tell him how much it means to me that I was allowed to know him for 33 years, I wouldn't waste any time with pleasantries-I'd tell him. I'd pour my heart out to him, though his comfort level would have been seriously breached. I'd tell him that the one thing that blunts my worry about dying goes is the notion I might yet get to talk to him again.
Having grown up vowing never to be like my father, now I only wish I knew how to be. I wish I had the strength to see myself through a Depression, horrible theaters of war, and the ups and downs of domestic life as he was able to do. Had I gotten his backbone as my inheritance, it would have been more than I deserved.
Alas, I did not, and I am doomed to continue to try to feel my way through the dark. My compass is long broken, my light long ago stopped shining.
I really miss you Dad, whereever you may be.