Take no moment for granted 6:14 PM

This is a little more about myself then you probably want to know... but here it is. Sometimes you need to get things like this off your chest to go on living. I didn't realize it until I wrote this, but this has been haunting me since it happened. It probably always will.
Xo. Love the ones you have


It wasn’t my ideal place to have what could possibly be the last goodbye I ever told my father. The security line in an airport I had never been to, surrounded by nameless faces, with a cross country plane ride to an empty house lurking ahead of me, never makes for an intimate parting. Yet here I was, stuck in the middle of whirlwind, just trying to say goodbye to my daddy. He stayed with me for as long as he could. His exhausted eyes scanning my face for signs of panic, always worrying for me - though it wasn’t something I deserved. I was leaving him to go back to school. I had come as far as I could on the trip but now it was time to return home to an empty home, pack my stuff into my little black car, and make the journey alone. He had his own plane ride ahead of him; he and the rest of my family were flying the rest of the way to San Francisco. Once there my dad would be going under the knife for the second time in seven years. His brain tumors had come back. Brain tumors – two words that knocked the breath from my lungs the first time they slipped from my mom’s lips when I was in sixth grade. My head had spun. “He’ll be okay right?” I had begged more than asked. Even at twelve I knew that the way my mom let her eyes fall meant only uncertainty. But he had survived, barely, and with a scar the size of my outstretched palm on his head, but he was alive. I had my father again. Those same two words “brain tumors”, stole my breath away again soon after I started my freshman year of college. Imagine my surprise that long after I had let dust settle on that chapter of my life that on an early weekend home my dad would clear his throat, turn to me and choke… “They’re back.”

So now here we stood. He held my bag in his hand while I fumbled through my mind desperately searching for a word that would justify what was happening. I was leaving the man who named me, who loved me – undeniable flaws and all, and who had always forgiven me. I was then going to board a plane, shuffle like a zombie to a window seat and keep my eyes glued to the world below me the entire flight because somehow in that moment the lights of the towns miles below seemed safer than the fears that polluted my mind. It’s strange how the mind works in times of grief.

Right now though, my dad was standing next to me. Telling me someone would be waiting to get me from the airport. I just stared at him, nodding, empty. Would this be the last time I saw him? Would this be the memory I’d replay over and over again in my head? “I’m proud of you.” He smiled. We stayed trapped in that moment until he looked at his watch; it was time for him to go. All around me the world continued as usual. I wanted to scream “STOP! Please if only for a moment stop arguing about how late you are, stop tapping your shoe with impatience, just give me a moment to make this right." But what could ever make this right? And how could they know that this was the most important goodbye I had ever said? So with the couple behind me telling jokes about the bar they had been to the night before I gave my dad the hug that might have had to last me a lifetime. We said we loved each other, skillfully avoiding the real reason I had to swallow the lump in my throat between each word. “I’ll be okay” he whispered into the kiss he left on my cheek. And with one more hug my hero turned on his heal and walked away.

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