My dad sort of disappeared several years ago. He found himself travelling down an extremely difficult road and his response was to withdraw to the point of almost completely disappearing. I would occasionally see him emerge whilst playing with his grandchildren. But mostly he was just gone.

Keeping in mind that I have always been a daddy’s girl, you can imagine the anger I felt about suddenly losing my father while he was sitting right in front of me. You can imagine how abandoned I felt. You can imagine the level of sorrow I had knowing that if he would only let me, I could probably be of some assistance along the journey he was on.

And I’ve held somewhat of a grudge for this disappearance. I’ve been angry with him for a long time now. And while it may sound clich├ęd and hypocritical, when his diagnosis made its way down the pike, all was forgiven. Not forgotten, not by a long shot, but forgiven. But, as most profoundly life changing revelations are, my dad having cancer has proven to be a gift. It’s brought my dad back to me. He is utterly and completely my dad again. For better and for worse, he’s my dad again. And I’m so grateful for that I can’t appropriately put it into words.

So much of who I am at my core is because of my dad. He cultivated in me a deep sense of right and wrong as well as a foundation based in respect, integrity and compassion for everyone around me regardless of their station in life. An absolute commitment to family (in whatever form it may take), constant learning and a relentless wonder at the world around me. A tremendous sense of humor. I do wish however that he’d injected some of his innate patience into me though, that is one area in which I am severely lacking that he has in spades.

Tonight as I listened to us banter back and forth and laugh heartily at each other’s stories and memories, I had to lean back and just be grateful. So very, very grateful for the chance to just be with my daddy again.

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