I never saw my Dad in a pair of shoes, never. Not once, I’m not kidding. He never wore them. If a place made you wear shoes, we just didn’t go there. I, of course, grew up thinking this was completely normal. It wasn’t until much later in life when I really appreciated what characters both my Mother & Father are. The apple does not fall too far from the trees…
I’ve never felt comfortable talking openly about my Dad. Instead, I filter like crazy only being brave enough to share the happy and upbeat. A wise woman recently told me that isn’t my story. Your story is the ups & the downs. Your story is the messy middle. And you know, in the imagination, memories and stories of myself and others, that’s the only place where he lives on. So I figured, be brave, be vulnerable. Share.
I was lucky enough to have him for the first 10 years of my life, for this, I’m eternally grateful.
I wanted to call him today.
It wasn’t a particularly special or extraordinary day.
It isn’t just the moments like walking down the aisle,
Your first love,
Your first loss —
It isn’t the big moments where I miss him the most.
It is all the ordinary moments in between.
If you are lucky enough to still have parents in your life,
Call them, for all these mundane moments.
Just because you can.
It’s not these extraordinary occasions when I shed my tears — I am usually surrounded by people whom I love and people who love me during these.
It is all the moments in the middle, in the dip, where I wish I could see his face, hear his voice.
You know — when I am so far from the start line I can no longer see it, but I’m so far from the end it is nowhere in sight.
I was having one of those moments today, so I wrote this poem —
The Man Who Never Wore Shoes.
“I found my next home, Dad” is what I longed to say today.
It’s been such a long time,
Since we talked.
I want to call you, and share my news,
And hear your voice again.
Yet I know,
With a heavy heart,
I’ll never get to make this call,
Not once, not ever, not this lifetime.
I think of all the moments & milestones — of things I’ve achieved,
The success I’ve had,
The failures, the highs, the lows and the middles.
All the past me’s I have been.
Of all the friends I’ve created along away,
The moments of magic made,
The adventures shared,
They all bring me back to think of you,
And what I wouldn’t give,
To have one chance,
To talk again,
To share a single moment,
The man who never wore shoes.
I see your face in the distance,
I hear your laugh.
A different me, but the same you.
If I got the chance to do it again,
This time I would remember every detail,
Every word you said,
Of which there were so very few.
I’m thinking of you Dad,
The man who lives in my memory,
And inside of my heart, forever.
The man, who never wore shoes.