What my father didn’t know

What my father didn’t know when he died unexpectedly on January 13 so many years ago was that my love for him would forever be frozen in time.  The love of a 9 year old girl for the person she trusted, admired and treasured more than anyone else in the world.

What my father didn’t know was that I would eventually find another man, Kevin, whom I would love, after much time had passed grieving his loss.

What my father didn’t know was how I was indeed crafted, molded by the small tiny moments we had, most of them fuzzy in my memory, moments of full expression and discernment:

      • Cursing at the cows
      • Traveling to Bill-Do’s bar for a beer (and soda for me) then on our way home, making sure I knew NOT to mention this to mom.  “Tell nothing of the place with the tall stools.”
      • Riding the tractor, smelling the freshly cut hay.

What my father didn’t know was how much I thought of him.  His bookmobile driving, cow milking, tractor steering gentleness.  How could one who did such intense work be so very kind and patient?

What my father didn’t know was how much I did not appreciate being left with Mom.  He hadn’t an inkling that all the difficulties both financial and otherwise that his death created would all lead me to become something way beyond what he might have imagined possible.  Maybe he knew all along what the plan needed to be and the timing of all that needed to occur.  The sacred timeline.

Here is what I want you to know:  I’m not savoring writing every day as I know I will eventually again.  I’m not sure there is anything significant shifting or opening for me?  I guess this is the nature of growth and integration.

We never get too know what would have been if the thing that happened had not happened.  I will never know HOW I would have been different now if events had not happened when they did.

If my father had not died?  I will never know.

If I had not written daily for 11 days straight?  I will never know who I would have been without this practice.

And that my friend has something to do with faith, surrender and the complete and total easing of control…maybe even the absence of free will.

January 13, 2024, Bainbridge Island. 

Inspired by Portrait of the Poet as a Child by Elizabeth Knapp  via Laurie Wagner Wild Writing Day 11.


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