My father died last week and I am okay.
No really, I am.
Growing up, I was never daddy’s little girl. I never sat on daddy’s lap. I never had a dad to run to for advice. My dad wasn’t present in my life, but I loved him. Heck, my personality is undeniably a duplicate of his. I spent summers with him as a child. I built unforgettable memories with him. I was his girl, at least in the summers.
As I got older, the daddy issues got a hold of me. Unaware of the root of my problem, I
failed at forming healthy friendships with men. I led them on. I was needy. I expected all men to satisfy the void my father’s absence produced. I messed up on too many relationships. Anyone else been here?
When I started college, everything changed.
I was curious. I was reflective. I was seeking to understand my life.
Thanks to one of my classes, I engaged in a deep research of daddy issues and relationships. The awakening my soul experienced was so inspiring that I bought a plane ticket to my native country to spend alone time with my dad. I needed to heal our relationship now, to experience the gift of healthy friendships later. That trip was everything. Like, for real. I got the closure I needed. I forgave. I cried.
That was 2007.
After that trip, dad’s health declined steadily. He was bedridden for the last three years. His started to lose the sparkle in his eyes. He was no longer the ray of light that brightened everyone’s day. Once again, I took a trip to see him.
After many years of searching for a better answer to my upbringing, I finally learned the lesson in all this. I am glad I took the final trip because one year later (just two weeks ago) he finally passed.
I knew he would die that day. My intuition told me so. I got on the phone with a cousin of mine who was near him and told him to put the phone by my dad’s ears. I told him that I loved him. I told him how proud I am to be his daughter. And, I told him to go in peace. “Be free dad,” were my last words.
Minutes later, he was free.
Death always inspires life lessons. Here is what I learned, a year before he died.