Sitting at my parent's home in Florida; it's my first time here since my dad passed away. It feels empty and void of his presence. You say, "duh, he's gone," but I mean there is a marked and different feeling in this place. A comfort that came when I'd see him at his computer playing solitaire or in his favorite chair reading his Bible, with pen in hand. A feel of warmth that was experienced by his humorous comments attempting to restore balance to our mom, always delivered with a smirk. I did't realize how much life he added to this place. Hearing mom scold him for too much peanut butter on a cracker or for some other minor infraction, and being entertained by his quick wit and manner of responding. He had his unique way of bringing balance to the dysfunction that seems to visit all families, perhaps with more regularity to mine.
I am saddened as I think back over many of the trips that I took here, so quick to rush off to the beach or elsewhere to fulfill my expectations of a vacation. All too often, I was content to keep our conversations at a level of superficial banter about travel, the weather or broad life updates, without sacrificing the time to sit and talk at length with him. It took time and emotional energy to get past that; time that I was not willing to surrender, and yet in hindsight, time that I would like to have back, now that I sit here in silence. Time that I would gladly trade a day at Disney for. Time that I would willingly swap for a day playing at the beach. Time that I wasted in front of a TV set or at my computer checking Facebook and my ever so seemingly important inbox. I'm not trying to beat myself up, I just miss my dad. Wish he was here now. No doubt, a healthy reminder for me during this holiday season, that also threatens to be rushed. Life is full of diamond-like opportunities, that must be mined. In other words, each moment has the potential for significance, and yet can easily be missed if we are not intentional about siezing them. I "simply" need to train myself to live that way, even though nothing about that style of doing life is "simple" in today's over-programmed world.