Sometimes telling a story is the easiest way for me to communicate.
I was standing in the most lucious green grass you could imagine. My bare were given a gift of warmth every time I touched down on the soft, inviting ground. The sun bathed me in its golden, life-giving, light and brought out the pink in my cheeks which hides under my freckles always searching for an excuse to radiate from my face. I giggled and spun around with my hands in the air. That air. Oh that sweet summer air. Mixed with the scent of the grass--it was too much. I breathed in deeply filling my lungs. My enjoyment of the June weather was suspended by the sound of a soft neigh to my right. I whipped around to find the source of that disruption, and my mouth dropped. Standing in a beam of light staring at me with eyes that begged for attention, was a perfect unicorn. Being that I was seven and had been hoping and praying for a unicorn since LAST Christmas, I was completely overtaken with awe. Instantly I bolted for my hearts one love. Ah! I was so close! I couldn't almost feel its warm breath on my hand, but just before I could indulge myself, I felt what seemed to be my dress ripped off of me. All of the sudden the sun disappeared and cold enveloped me. Something had me by the left ankle. I yanked away and blindly grabbed for my dress but to no avail.
I woke up in my bed pawing for my pink and white blanket which had proved a faithful companion over the years. Mom was standing over me holding the blanket and grinning. "Gooooood morning!! It's a beautiful day!! NOW WAKE UP!!!!" She screamed. gh. That was the THIRD unicorn dream this week. I hoped again that Santa would deliver this Christmas for the sake of my sanity. Hiding my face under the pillow in frustration, I contemplated whether I could get away with falling asleep again. It was Saturday after all and it was only around 10, still plenty of time for dreaming. I slowly began drifting back to a reality in which miracles were possibilities, but then I remember the most important thing about Saturday's and bolted, blanket in tow, from my bed to find Dad.
Ugh! He was ALWAYS asleep and snoring SO loud. I shook him as hard as I could with my not-so-little-for-a-seven-year-old body, screaming at him to wake up. He flipped onto his back and exhaled with so much vigor that he ripped a huge fart that instantly filled the bedroom wall to wall with thick stench. To this day, he will never understand how pungent those first of the morning pifters can be. I naturally began to punish him for what he'd done, pounding on his chest and screaming for justice after such an indecent act. As always, as soon as he tasted or smelled what he had done(I honestly don't know which came first), he burst into laughter and let another one rip. My poor nose! I was enraged! Beating again on his unhindered chest I demanded his attention. I wouldn't give up until I got my way, and he knew it. He laughed again then swooped me up and plopped me on the bed with him like a sack of potatoes.
I sat with him there for over an hour utterly enchanted. He had an amazing way of taking you to another place. I loved how it was so easy to tell something funny was coming because always, without fail, he would chuckle a little at his own sense of humor before telling a joke. To my seven year old brain, his stories of The Four Foot Church which had a bucket for a baptistry, the vampires in the woods that weren't evil after all, but in fact lonely beings searching for friends, and Billy, who got out of school by shoving mayo up his nose and convincing his parents it was snot from a cold(all of these are true), were soothing to my soul. I needed Dad that day because it was Saturday, and on Saturday's, stories just happened. It's what we did. And without fail, every time I came bounding in begging for entertainment in the form of tall tales, he obliged with pure joy.
A few Saturday's ago, I needed Dad again. It had been a rough month filled with a lot of tough decisions, and my spirit needed something soothing which I knew just where to find. I showed up at my parents doorstep after work, still looking like a fool in my uniform. As always, I was welcomed without question, and with an underlying warmth that communicated such pure love. This Saturday, the constant companion which accompanied me to the door was not the trusty blanket I couldn't go without, but rather a heavy, burdened heart. And this Saturday, the solace and peace that I sought wasn't in the form of stories, but rather honest conversation and an episode of Jeopardy--Two things my Dad was never without. We talked for a good hour then turned on the Tube and I annihilated that poor guy 20 correct answers to his three. Both the crushing victory and the hashing out of lifes endless problems made my countenance perk right up, and I left that night at peace.
Dad, I never told you this, but as we played that game of jeopardy I looked at you, and for once my perception of you wasnt clouded by my own selfishness, and I saw you clearly for who you really are. And Dad, you are the man who, from the moment I was born, have taken me into your heart and cared for me with a fierce unbreakable love. You sat there in that chair listening intently for the clues to our game, and I was utterly humbled by the man who sat before me. The man who would do anything for my sake and has fought to provide for me despite almost incomprehensible odds, who has loved me with a love that Eros himself would seek to understand, who sits in silence and suffers daily all the while thinking only of those around him. Dad, time is a cruel thing and often I'm bitter towards it, but I'm so thankful that it has given me the ability to look back on those Saturday's as a seven year old with more understanding. I finally get it! I finally can comprehend why you enjoyed those mornings so much. It's not because you got to surprise attack me with farts, it's not because you got to tell stories or eat coffee nips, it's not even because you got to lounge in your pajamas. It's because on Saturday mornings you had a blonde, energetic, seven year old girl who demanded time with you, and that gave you the thing you cherish most. I know it's all you want Dad. All you want is time with those closest to your pure heart, and I love you for it.
I am overwhelmed by the ways I haven't been there for you as a daughter, but I want you to know however utterly broken things may seem sometimes, I hope I can work to slowly put them back together, and I thank heaven you have the patience to let me try. I know we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but I want you to know that all of those things are trivial now, because I finally see you. I finally see the depth of how you've cared for me. I'm going to make mistakes, I'm going to be selfish, I'm going go get scared, but tonight I have clarity and I want you to know it. There is no way that this could ever be enough, but thank you. Thank you Dad for making me proud as hell to be your daughter whether 7, 20, 40, 80 or 100. I love you.