|A real-life Polaroid of me and my Dad.|
My Dad was the best Dad a little girl could ask for. He did it all. The playing, the question answering, the encouraging. He had it all down. No one could measure up to him and he would always be there for me.
Until he wasn't.
No, he wasn't that great strong family man. He was just a man with a family. A family that had baggage and history and real problems. He buckled under the pressure of dealing with a chronically ill wife and found another, ready-made, less-complicated family. And left us.
Now he is someone else's Dad. And facebook tells me that he loves them and they love him and he is the best Dad in the world. But not for me.
Not any more. For me he is the man who emails once every 2-3 months. The man who has nothing to say to me, whose emails of work abroad are, for the most part, strained and impersonal. A man I have not seen in nearly 4 years. A man who looks like my Uncle and pops up on facebook in pictures of expensive holidays with "his kids". He is the man who appears when "something interesting" is happening - a wedding, a degree, a new grandchild. Something he can boast about. And dissappears in beween.
But I love him. At least I love who he was and the way he made child Ciara smile and laugh and feel loved and safe and interesting. I thank him for my childhood and the person he was to me. And I will always remember that and be grateful for it.
Just as much as I feel the loss of it.