Thursday, September 2, 2010

To Sir, With Love

For those of you who don’t know, my dad has been in the Ukraine for the past two weeks. He’s on his way back now. I don’t think I realized how much I talk to him and take his presence for granted until now, when I haven’t been able to call him whenever I want. I never thought that I did call him that much, really. Turns out I do.

My relationship with my dad has been... strange. I felt neglected as a child, smothered as a teenager, and slightly resentful as a young adult. Now, as a full fledged adult, I’ve learned to appreciate my dad more. Of course. It always works that way.

It’s been the little things, and some big things, these past few weeks that have made me realize how much I really depend on my dad. Things like, “Hey Dad, have you seen this movie yet? I think it’d be in your ‘Men of Honor’ category” (Rothwells know what I mean), or “How far are you in the book you’re reading?”. Wanting to call to talk to him about The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Keith Green. And then there’s the bigger things... Ashton starting school back, Isaac and Phil being stranded at the airport, Adam sick as a dog, and several family crises hitting all at once.

My dad has teased me before about being “the glue” in the family, or a “force of nature” (not quite sure if that’s a compliment or not), but I don’t think that’s quite accurate. While he’s been gone, I’ve felt like our family’s cover is gone with him. Like we were stranded in an unexpected storm without our umbrella. Even when he’s not actively providing shelter, there’s always the option there. Even when we get mad at him for trying to protect us from the storm, there’s a certain sense of comfort there, knowing that if it ever got too rough for us, we could open our umbrella.

So there’s a few things I’d like to say to him when he finally gets home:

Welcome home, Papa.

I’ve missed you.

I love you.

Thank you.

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