My dad and I kinda got into it just before I left for the airport today. We'd spent eight straight days and nights together in relatively tight quarters worrying ourselves sick about my mom and watching bad movies and eating leftovers and not getting enough sleep and trying to figure out, over late-night chats fueled by too much gluten free beer and Trader Joe's cabernet sauvignon, the exact moment when we'd lost hold of the reigns. So it was inevitable, I guess, the getting into it.
Afterwards we separated and stewed and held our ground and then a few minutes before my aunt and uncle were set to pick me up and take me to Gerald R. Ford International I caught my dad unduly wiping down the counter in my parents' bathroom and without saying anything I pulled him into the tightest hug I could muster and told him that I loved him and that I was sorry and that I'm proud of him and he did the same and then he thanked me for my help during the last week and a half and that was the end of it and we were fine again. Well, sort of.
I know that "I love you" should really sum it all up, in the grand sense of things, but what I really wanted to tell my dad is that my heart is busted into a million little pieces, too. And that although I don't know a before, I'm sure as hell just as scared of what's gonna happen after. And I wanted to tell him that she'll never be gone, not really, and that there's beauty ahead, there has to be, and that all of this is part of the invisible contract we signed when we made the unconscious decision to love each other with such reckless abandon. I wanted to tell him all of that and so much more, but I didn't. Because I know that he knows it all already. We all do.