Today I remembered the very last time that I had a normal relationship with my dad. As I was working on my book about my journey to spirituality through sexuality, I was giving the backstory leading up to the day that my dad confronted me about my relationship with a woman and I started at the beginning, the day that I left for Orlando for my internship at Walt Disney World:
“I remember during the thirty-minute drive to the airport an unfamiliar feeling of anxiety. Although as my mom would tell it for years, I’d always been the kid that would go anywhere with just about anyone, for the first time that I can remember I felt scared and nervous about going so far away. I remember sitting at the terminal gate at Detroit Metro Airport, my mom on one side, my dad on the other as we waited for boarding to begin. I had a huge lump in my throat and was holding back tears. I had only flown one other time in my life and never alone. I remember feeling like if I said anything, the dam would break and the tears would fall and I was trying to keep it together.
Before I knew it, the flight attendant was calling my section to board the flight. I remember my mom saying “That’s you” and feeling startled. I remember replying with “But, I’m not ready…” and there went the dam. I could hold back the tears no longer and I remember hugging both my parents, but especially my dad and him reassuring me that I was going to be okay. Little did he or I know, how dramatically my life was about to change in the next six months and I had no way of knowing in that moment it was the last time I would ever experience this kind of unconditional love and reassurance with my Dad.”
As I was telling this seemingly insignificant but necessary part of the chronological story, I was overcome with emotion as I remembered how I was feeling that morning. For the first time in 22 years, I had this realization that THAT seemingly insignificant moment was an ending of sorts. Unfortunately, due to everything that happened between us and his feelings about the choices I had made between the time I returned from Disney and the time he passed away, I’ve always had a hard time remembering how things were before the falling out. I’ve always thought it was so weird that although I had nearly 19 years of a good relationship with him, the last year and half of his life seemed to have stolen any vivid memories of good times with him. The hurt was so loud and obnoxious that it just would not allow me to see anything else...until today.
The emotion that came with today’s memory is hard for me to describe. I can’t even really distinguish if it was hurt and sadness over the loss of that relationship and the realization of the last time I had that loving connection, or if it was relief that I had finally remembered a time when my Dad still loved me like his firstborn. What I do know, is that this book writing process is a gift and this morning’s experience makes me both excited and a little bit apprehensive as I anticipate other discoveries that will inevitably come through this process. In any case, I look forward to sharing them with you.
#nationalbookloversday #whatsyourstory #voicepenpurpose #firsttimeauthor #divinelyqueer #spiritualitythroughsexuality
Jennifer Miracle-Best is an author and speaker whose Calling is to help victims of spiritual violence find healing.