Merry Christmas, Dad

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Merry Christmas, Dad

This is my dad’s grave marker/headstone. My mom tries to put a wreath out on the headstone every year. This year she asked me to do it. It meant a lot to me to help her out and have some alone time with the spot where my father is buried. I’ve always had a hard time speaking anything meaningful out loud as if my father was still alive and I were speaking directly to him. This year it was different.

I told him I was trying to be a better person and be there for my family in better ways. I also mentioned that I wanted to make some big changes; that I needed to find space for myself and be healthy and I hope he is proud of me even though I vote Democrat. I took this shot and wished him a Merry Christmas.

I wish he knew the girls. And I wish he knew Heather. My dad died relatively young. He was 60. I vowed when he died that I would live my life with as little regret as possible. Our time here is short. It was the final lesson my dad taught me.

I share this with you because I have truckloads of regret right now. This has nothing to do with Heather’s depression. This regret is about how I’ve chosen to live and the effects if these choices on Heather and our relationship. I think that I’ve crossed the line from loving caregiver and helper into something else. I want to get back to the loving and the caregiving. I have so much regret.

I do not have a lick of regret about my babies. They are beautiful, smart and the best thing that has ever happened to me. So I turn from my regret for a moment to savor this holiday of family and giving; to savor their young faces in less than 24 hours as they see what Santa has brought. And as I watch, I will hope that I leave them with as many valuable lessons as my father left me.

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Given my history, you might take all of this a certain way. I’m not depressed. I’m hopeful. I wish you all good health and happiness as the year winds down. Thank you so much for reading and supporting me and my family. It means so much.

Also: flush twice when at someone else’s house.