A new year. Planning, dreaming of fresh possibilities. Checklists and chuck lists. Waistlines addressed with renewed vigor. Living. Interrupting the fervor are the roadblocks. Those little things you don't see interfering with life's onward and upward. For me the year begins with reconciling. Loving this life sometimes means pain. The loss of a loved one, my dad.
At a time when I thought for sure that we would finally reconnect, the hope dashed in a chance Facebook inquiry. Someone almost a year and a half ago reached out to me suggesting we may be related. In hindsight, oh how I wished I'd responded sooner instead of thinking this was another troll seeking to steal my information. Turns out my dad had been searching for me for quite some time and entrusted a cousin to find me. Time waits for no one.
After verifying I was in fact his daughter the family member asked how long it had been since I had spoken to him. Too many years to count was my response but I knew just how much time, 22 years, 6 months and 2 weeks.
The conversation quickly turned as I was asked to call the person because what needed to be said would not be told in a text. In a flash of information I now have cousins, aunts, uncles and other relatives part consoling, part a strange exuberance as some only knew me as the niece they once visited in New Jersey and now a grown woman. All a blur as the details emerged of my father, the 79 year old man, now dead from a massive heart attack.
I'd missed him by one week. More information clarified we'd missed each other by almost two weeks by the time I decided to address the inquiry. Through good days and bad what can be said is learn from you experiences and leave hurt feelings, time lost behind. You will age on regrets. This time of year brings about new resolutions. I never entertain the idea because life in its not so general sense is a living working progressive, going beyond any 365 spin cycle and deserves more attention than once granted it after the new year ice cream headache has passed.
Better it is to continue working for change. Be self aware of what makes you tick and what ticks you off. Instead of the Instagram Best 9, nothing wrong with it, but try leveling what you want to see as working goals in progress. The pain of my dad passing offers good and bad moments but when I think of where I am in this time of my life, all I can feel is grateful, sad but very grateful.
I could wallow in regret of the what if's or I can remember the times as a child when my dad, who was a fabulous chef would rise early on a Saturday morning, fresh fish and potatoes in hand. Whipping up the best fish and chips of my life and before long neighbors were detouring to our home where they knew the true meaning of open door policy. Delish, crispy cod, flounder and bass. Potatoes dipped lovingly into a hot oil bath emerging golden brown to waiting, hungry grateful souls. Missing the experience especially now because I'm allergic to fish and I miss my dad.
Eternally grateful for parents who actually loved people and chose professions accommodating their dreams of seeing happy humans thrive and connect. Fonder memories of my dad taking me fishing and on occasion my sister would be brought along too. Touching fish with my tiny fingers as they kicked around in a huge bucket, seeing a satisfied grin on dad's face whenever the catch was going well. Putting me on his shoulder, grabbing his neck to steady the lopsided shoulder hold as my legs joyfully wiggled. I remember.
What are my suggestions for a new 12 months? 22-6-2. Nope.
Its simple really. 5 simple ingredients: Learn, grow, change, reflect, repeat. With a dash of humility, kindness, respect, love and forgiveness. Making these our daily workout instead of an over used mantra of quick changes failing in most cases within weeks, we'd be happier, healthier and wiser.
Until next time~