The last few days – and today, in particular – have been crazy. In an entirely unhealthy, largely destructive kinda way. And then, with my heart rate at easily 300, I sat down to blog. I opened WordPress, and under their “Freshly Pressed” section was this:“Ten Things I Learned From My Father”. And it brought me back to my center.
It has been over five years since my dad had his stroke, and the missing him and longing to have him back comes in waves. Sometimes I’ll be perfectly fine, ticking along as normal – then suddenly BAM! It hits me. So clear, so pure, so sharp, that I’m sure if I pick up my phone and dial a number I’ll hear his voice at the other end of the line. Telling me “Even, sweetness” and “I’m so proud of you”.
But while I remember happenings, stories he told, flashes of memories… Somewhere along the line I forgot the kind of person that he taught me to be.
First, he taught me to be brave.
He taught me to have a “rhino skin”, to not let everything get to me. He knew me too well, knew that I feel everything so acutely, that sometimes it’s just a bit too much. Words that other people brush off, haunt me. When people are harsh with me, I can’t just laugh it off. I hurt. He knew that I was a delicate little petal. He told me to develop a “rhino skin”. I had forgotten.
He taught me to fight. Fight for what I believed in. Fight for my rights. To not just step back and let everybody take what they wanted. (I needed to hear you say that this week, dad. So badly.)
He taught me to be the best I can be. Then he taught me to be better than that.
And he taught me that I was worth more than I thought. That I was precious, special, something to be proud of.
Damnit, dad. I am.