For years, my father, sister and I would spend weekends, school vacations and a few evenings a month together. We lived with our mom in Plymouth and he lived in Braintree. The car rides seemed to be so long back then, with little to entertain small children. They became even longer when he moved to Stoughton. Today, those car rides feel like seconds in my memory.
My father and I had an interesting relationship. He never lived with me so we didn’t have the same opportunity to bond like he did with my older sister. Instead, we had a kind of friendship that had a level of respect that was different from most typical father-daughter relationships. Our relationship also evolved over the years as circumstances around us changed. It was unique, and special because it was perfect for us. Don’t get me wrong- I would have liked a closer relationship but looking back I realize that it was the way it was supposed to be.
My father was a compulsive man who needed immediate gratification. He made a lot of decisions based upon impulse and those decisions caused a lot of pain for me. He was a huge reason why I drank and when I sobered up I was able to deal with that pain. Sobriety helped me see it with clear eyes and an open heart. I saw him as a human being who loved me in spite of the self-made obstacles. We became close, then not so close. Ebbing and flowing like the tides he loved to watch.
Today, we are preparing for his funeral. The dark, rainy weather is perfect for picking out caskets. Later the rabbi will be meeting with us to discuss our father, and we will be getting ready to say our final goodbyes. As the hours pass my thoughts will be sorted into our life before 1987, and after. I think it is important for people to know what an incredible dad he was to us, how much fun and joy he brought to me personally. Our relationship wasn’t always difficult. It was extremely rewarding and I plan on reflecting that in my thoughts.
I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has sent me condolences and thoughts. I can’t answer them all right now, but each one has lifted my heart during this impossibly heavy time.