This is going to get buried and I told this story on another account but I really feel like sharing.
My parents split up when I was nineteen, fresh in college and had just wrecked my back doing a housekeeping job at a hotel I had no business doing with a hereditary back problem but hey, I was invincible.
Anyway, my dad was emotionally broken. He had never been without my mom as an adult -- they got married when he was twenty-one. He was so child like in so many ways, but primarily, he was a child in the sense of how he saw the world. Everything was beautiful to him. He had no fears but losing my mom, his partner in being a young man in a broken, old man's body. And he lost her, for what he thought was for good.
He came into my room at three am to tell me that a.) my mom was a pillhead (I wondered why I was missing Vicodin, and now I knew she was so addicted she'd steal her daughter's last pain pill when I could hardly move from the pain) and that b.) she had tried to swallow pills to kill herself and he had to physically assault her to get them out of her mouth. I went back to sleep.
The next night I got up at two am to make sure he had socks for the morning and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and had to sit down. I don't know what exactly caught my eye -- my haggard look, my mom's clothes, my depressed eyes -- but I had to sit on the bed I was so startled. I looked like a grown-up.
I went and did the laundry.
Years later I found out he had molested my cousin and possibly my sister and I was the one emotionally broken. He died six weeks later in a car wreck, and it was just a few months ago. Like many others ITT who have been through multiple calamities, I feel like I need to grow up all over again. And despite it all I miss the hell out of that motherfucker. I don't cry much anymore but sometimes it feels like I hit a brick wall and my entire body is shrouded in pain and I can't breathe I miss him so much. I miss the way he would laugh so hard he'd cry. I miss the way he saw the world like a newborn. I miss putting his shoes on for him when his back hurt too bad to lean over. I only knew the dark side of my dad for six weeks. I knew the best man I've ever had the pleasure to know for decades. I fucking miss you, Daddy.