I hadn’t called you that for over 30 years. But when I sat by your bed while you were dying, you were Daddy to me again. You had shrunken to the size of my 10-year-old self, and I, your adult daughter suddenly was left trying to pretend to be a grown-up.
I’m sorry, Daddy. I’m sorry for that time that I joined Mom in making fun of your terrible sense of fashion. I’m sorry that I disappointed you so much by having sex when I was 19 – although I’m not sorry about the sex. I’m sorry about that big fight we had, when I was callous and cruel and sanctimonious.
I’m sorry I didn’t get to make that amazing cake for your birthday.
I’m sorry that I let our political differences gradually get in the way of our relationship. How much did it really matter that you had an NRA sticker on your truck and I had a peace sign on my Beetle? You were my father, my dad, my daddy, and I let other beliefs get in the way of my love.
I miss you, every day. I still have you on speed dial, over two years later. I wish on Saturdays that I could call and hear your softly raspy voice, that I could try to keep you talking long after the traditional trading of the weather information.
I wish you could meet him, tell me that you like him. I wish you could tell me what to do about my car. I wish I could have called you first to tell you that I finally, finally, finally finished that degree.
I wish I knew how to live in a world where my Daddy doesn’t exist.