When I was younger, my dad would often regale me with his "wit" by saying such things as:
Dad: How tall are you again?
Me: 5' 8". Why?
My Dad: I didn't know they stacked shit THAT high.
Me: Are we going to breakfast?
My Dad: Who's "we?" You got a mouse in your pocket?
When he died, it was those moments, the stupid throwaway ones, that stuck with me the most.
It's odd to think about missing him, seeing as he died almost twenty years ago now. He is more of an idea than a person. "My dad" is something I often don't say...but more of a phrase I contemplate about. I mean, I don't have much of a reason to ever say the two words together. Painful to think about, but it's true.
I do see him. In my mind. Always the fashion guru, he would pull his socks up too high, almost to his knees. His short shorts, and thick and smudged glasses awaited my playful eye rolls, and I remember how his stomach felt when I would try to hug him. Bulging and curving in a too-tight, horizontally-lined shirt, his belly was an obstacle to be reckoned with when I would stretch and stretch my arms around him to complete an incompletable hug.
I remember him as being the smartest person I knew...but I'll never know if that's true. I don't know what's real and what my mind has made up. Crazy to think that I have created in my mind the person that actually created me. There were lessons and methods and real parenting going on, that I know for sure. He made me feel looked after. And safe. And a bit lost when he left. I still feel that way today.
I know there are some who believe he is with me. He was there. He was there. Maybe he is. Maybe he was. I don't know. If ever a soul lived on...why not his?
There is much I want to ask him...but life isn't fair. I'm ok with that. But it's the moments...those throwaway moments...that I've missed. The ones I didn't create. The ones that I know in my heart to be true:
My Dad: You should probably have a point.
My Dad: So? So what? Sew buttons?
So, maybe there isn't always a so what. Maybe there isn't always a truth. Maybe there are just moments in my mind and in yours. Floating from time to time. And we try to reach them. Catch them. But we can't.
Sometimes, you just can't complete your hug. No matter how hard you try. It's just a moment. And you will never throw that moment away.