She had been asked several times over the course of her adult years what the one thing in life was that she had regrets over. It's amazing how she had blocked that "fatherless" year out of her mind. Something triggered it the other day, and she finally felt some grown-up sadness and regret. She'd take back that year and do it differently if she could.
She wishes she could tell you that the reunion with her father was a profound moment. It wasn't. She didn't wake up one morning and miss her father. It wasn't like that at all. He happened to call and she picked up the phone.
"I'd like it if you'd come with us to the Youth Fair tomorrow," he said. And she agreed...without hesitation. She wanted to go to the Fair...and quite frankly, her mom couldn't afford it. That's what she told herself. It felt that cold. She wouldn't feel the damage until later in life.
Looking back she can barely remember that reunion with the exception that it was awkward. She didn't know her father anymore, and he didn't know her. Slowly things came back together and they just fell back into place, never speaking of that lost year.
Sure they had their moments, and there were times when the anger and hurt of living her parents' divorce would take over, but cutting her father out of her life was no longer an option.
It didn't take courage to go back to seeing her father, the real strength and courage would come much later in life...it was that moment she was in her car last week and realized that she did have one regret. One very big one, and she wanted to tell her father how very sad she was that they lost that year.
She sat in the sadness a little bit, letting herself feel that loss without it overcoming her. Writing helped.
She dialed his number, one of the few numbers she knows by heart.
"Hey, there, Daddy-O,......" she said as she straightened her backbone.