Ab said Jim never wanted a daughter. When she found out that I was a girl, he was disappointed. He wanted another son. She said that when she brought me home from the hospital for the first time, he danced with me in his arms, that he didn’t do that with the boys. That every night, he came home from work, and he would go into my nursery and dance with me, no matter how late. That some nights she would want to talk about his day and he would interrupt her and say “she’s waiting for her dance.”
Perspective is a funny thing; everyone thinks they have it, until they realize that they never did. If I’ve found anything in the last six months, the days after diagnosis, I’ve found perspective. On my 24th birthday, I cried because my dad wanted me to have my own car insurance, on my 25th birthday I cried because I didn’t know if it would be the last of my birthdays he was here for. Last father’s day I would have walked around and obnoxiously wished people a happy father’s day, assumingly, this father’s day I assume that everyone is dealing with love and loss and try to forget that it’s father’s day, I see kids without a dad nearby and wonder if they lost him too. I see Instagram posts about dads walking daughters down the aisle, and about dads becoming grandads and I feel alone.
I wonder if after he’s gone, I’ll look for him. If he’ll send me signs that he’s still around. If he’ll help me open jars of gelato without him. I wonder if he’ll make sure that I drive safely, and that some days I’ll get an especially good cup of coffee, or even maybe someday a laugh. I think he’ll give me cloud cover when I try to dry the car on a hot summer day after a wash. I wonder if on my wedding day, I’ll feel him beside me, during the first dance. I wonder if he’ll know that people are swaying from side to side saying, “she’s waiting for her dance.”
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