Monday, July 22, 2013


"What are you resisting?"

The question was posed to us all by my yoga teacher this morning.

I closed my eyes, allowing the images to just come. My children's faces, my long to do list.

And my father's face, in the window of his home.

My eyes filled with tears.

What am I resisting?


I am running from it as from a train. It barrels down on me, and I turn from it just in time to save myself from being run over.

I don't want to feel this again. This tidal wave of silence. I don't want to walk this valley alone, again.

I want to run from it.

What am I resisting?

The image of my father, shirtless on a sweltering Vegas afternoon. Tan torso, eyes crinkled with laugh lines as he adjusts the sprinkler. The oleanders smelled like summer. My skin smelled like coconuts and smoke. And he was tall, and present, and alive.

My father's face as I told him I was moving away. A slight shift into sadness, quickly masked with a smile. Followed by laughter.

My father's eyes filled with tears as he held me on my wedding day. As he danced with me under the overturned blue bowl of October sky.

His hands on mine in pictures. Holding me up as I learned to walk.

His voices echoes in my mind. Over and over I hear him telling me not to cry, not to be sad. That it's okay.

What a I resisting?


I am too busy. Too tired. Unwilling to break down in front of my children.

But everywhere I go, I see his face. In every old man. In every glimpse of myself in the mirror. He is there.

I will never outrun this. For the rest of my life, he will be dead.

This happens to us all. We will all bury our parents.

We will all mourn those who created us.

It hurts. The knowing that if I reach out, there will never again be a reaching back.

It hurts to know I didn't speak words out of pride. Out of anger.

I have a thousand regrets.

I dream of his house. I wander up and down his hallway. I trace my fingers over the pictures on his walls.

He's not there.

I leave, and the screen bangs behind me. The flat Nebraska sky fills with dust and scent as a truck rolls by. Far off I can hear the train as it barrels down the tracks toward his house. It calls, the sound lonely and dark.

I walk, but something makes me turn. And he is there, in the window. Cup of coffee, cigarette. He smiles and turns away.

And then I wake up.

What am I resisting?

The idea that he is forever truly gone.

I loved him with a love that only little girls know for their daddies. He was my hero, and my forever champion. I longed for him. I can still feel the tightness of tears in my chest, the lump in my throat. I can feel the hurt. I can feel the loneliness.

But I can feel the love. How he held me as I cried over lost love, over broken promises and a broken life. How he would walk out of the Vegas sun, the pavement shimmering under his feet. How I would sit and watch him fall asleep each night, drink in hand.

He was, for so long, my hope. He was my daddy. He was my savior.

And long after time and circumstance led me to realize he should have been more and done more,  I still loved him.

And I still do.

And always will.