You went somewhere I could not find you. That last year, on the phone, I would say your name as many times as I could. Hi dad. Thank you dad. I love you dad. Bye dad. Every time I said it another tie to who you had been to me, who you had always been, the name I called you the same as all the years I had been yours, your daughter.
As I got older, I saw you less for what role you played for me, and more the man you were, the one you wanted to be—honest, charming, solid and sure. Your height kept me small, protected—the memory of the night when I watched ‘Carrie’ on tv in the cold side room of our old farm house. Too young and so scared I yelled from my bed, dad, dad, dad! Down the hall you walked, and slept in the other twin bed. How did you know to do that without making me feel weak, childish?
Your name held me to you, all those years, and especially the last few months, knowing you were leaving, the losing of you honest, solid, sure. I don’t know how to do this I said to my sisters. You don’t have to know, not yet, they said.
And then I knew.
I say your name still, into that place where I cannot find you. I miss you dad. I remember you dad. I won’t ever forget you.