Since September I have been learning a lot about...well, reality. I think I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to forget things that have been hard. But with that, we also forget the good at times. My hope is to begin reflecting on the good, the funny times and sometimes the bad parts of my childhood. I am doing this because, well I'm at a time in my life where I need to be able to say goodbye to my Dad. This isn't something that is necessarily going to happen in person, but I need to at least remember him. Remember him for who he was and not who he is now. I know some of the stories I share may be depressing, but there is also great hope in where God has taken me. I'm not doing this for anyone else. I'm hoping this will allow me to be real, with you all, but also with myself. Running or hiding away hurts doesn't do anybody good.
I'm going to begin with a random story that I remember:
Dad always had big dreams. To this day he tells stories about how he spent time living on a reservation and hitch hiked to Alaska. As a complete daddy's girl, I sat and listened and marveled at his wonderful stories. Then I became old enough to realize that...you can't really hitch hike to Alaska. It is amazing to think about how much I admired him. When I was young he would sing to me. He would sing Sweet Baby Jess (to the tune of James Taylor's Sweet Baby James). I would sit at his feet humming the tune and believing that it was really written for me. "So goodnight, moonlight ladies, rock a bye sweet baby Jess. Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams. And rock a bye sweet baby Jess.
I was about 3 years old and my mom had far too much to drink like she often did. Dad always drank too, but he would just become calm. Mom became mean more than anything. I was sitting in my Dad's lap, listening to his heart beat...bum bum bum bum. I remember I would try to hear if my heart was beating the same tune. My Mom was upset at my Dad like she often would be and began trying to hit him. He yelled, "Bekah, wait...let me put Jessica down." I began crying but my Dad wrapped his arms around me and just let Mom treat him that way. It has been so long since I remembered that story. To outsiders it may sound bizzare and sad. Right now, it is liberating to remember that Dad protected me. Most of my life he hasn't, but that day he did. I treasure that memory. I treasure listening to his heart beat.