Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dad Woulds

At lunch the other day I was sitting with one of my best friends from college and somehow we began discussing my father. I have no idea how it came about, but knowing myself, it was probably completely NOT where either of us expected the conversation to end up. Whether the conversation was planned or not, it sparked some questions that I've since been thinking about.

Just in case you guys didn't know, my father died when I was in high school. He had cancer for several years, and, to be honest, his death wasn't unexpected. What has been unexpected for me, however, are the questions that are just posing themselves eight years after his death.

Like I said, my dad died when I was in high school. It was spring of junior year, to be exact. The months following his death I experienced all the emotions that go along with losing a loved one, specifically someone you were extra close to. I was always a daddy's girl growing up, and it's just now that I'm realizing how little I actually know about my father.

Back to the conversation with my friend... In that conversation I realized that I never really knew my father. No... That's not true.... I never really knew Bob. And I think, looking back, this is probably the hardest part of losing a parent at a fairly young age. You see, I was old enough to know my dad and I still remember things about him (amazingly, because I have a TERRIBLE memory!) but I only remember him in his role as my father. Of course I knew about his personality, which I believe I inherited, but I didn't ever get to know him as a person. And I think I'm just now realizing what I'm missing out on.

I have always thought to myself, usually after making a bad joke, oh.... dad would have said that. Or after singing in the Meyerson last week, I thought, oh.... dad would be proud and would have enjoyed listening to that. These little dad woulds don't really make me sad anymore, it's just a part of life. But this last week, I've really been in tune with my "dad woulds" and have been wondering, well, would he really? And the answer is, I honestly have no idea! But I like to think the image I have of my dad is the right one.

I guess the moral of this story (because every story indeed has a moral) is that you can never understand or know a person based on one facet of their personality. As if that's a new idea that we DIDN'T learn from the idea of stereotypes... But really. You absolutely cannot put people in a box with a clean label on their personality type, how they would respond in situations, etc. Because really, at the end of the day, we have no idea! I have no idea about the multiple facets of my dad's personality I didn't get to experience as a kid, and I'm just now realizing how much I miss learning that.

1 comment:

  1. Woo, I just read this! I'm glad you wrote about our convo; I love the honesty and perspective.

    You knew your dad as just that: a dad. So I think your "dad woulds" are accurate. It's the "Bob woulds" that you can never be sure about. But in the end, he was dad to you, not Bob. So I hope you can have confidence in your "dad woulds."

    Thanks for the post, Woo. I heart you big time.