Trinda Jocelyn

The last real memory I have of my dad was the day that he left Quill Lake.

He came to my school to say good-bye. He was in an old, red, late 70’s Ford truck. I was thirteen; I don’t remember the exchange of words, more the exchange of feeling. The bitter sadness ran through me as he hugged me through that truck window: this would be one of the last times in my entire life.

Then he rolled up the window, put his eyes forward, and drove away; I was left to go back into the school knowing that when I got home, that was it. He was gone.

I spent my teen years angrily and recklessly coping: one foot in front of the other hoping for a better day. The condition he left us in was not good, financially or emotionally. Did I mention that he up and moved us to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and left us there. Nothing was familiar, I felt very little comfort there.

I was left feeling unwanted, unloved, and out of place.

He would call me every few years, usually around my birthday, almost like clock- work. And then the feelings that I had managed to lock down and had gotten under control, would surface and stare me in the eye. And again I would be an emotional wreck for a few weeks.

So this past February (2014), when I received a letter from him, I had to mentally prepare before I opened the envelope. It turned out to not be so bad. It was a friendly “how are you doing.” I was surprised.

Then came the cancer.

Most of our conversations over the summer were ok. But, things in the end did not go well. I do not play pretend, I have to deal with my feelings and with reality. And the last thing he said to me, was the admittance of “just saying stuff to try and hurt me.” And I said “bye.”

And then he was dead. Less than a week later.

The last few weeks I have quietly mourned. I am mourning all that never was and will never be. I think each time he called, I would mourn. But this time there is finality.

It came with anger, sadness, relief and then guilt for feeling relief.

Through all the mess that is life, I loved my dad. He struggled down his own path and made a lot of poor decisions. He was still a human and somewhere, in that heart of his, I know he loved me. For whatever reason, he just couldn’t let that part of himself be anything but numb.

I have questioned lots lately as I quietly hurt: why did we go through this. Why did life happen this way for me?

And then tonight my daughter crawled up on my bed, laid her head my shoulder as I was reading, and just snuggled with me and told me stories about her day. And I could see through the fog of hurt at just how beautiful my life is.

And there was my answer.

I know exactly who I will never be to my children. Dad taught me that the “me first” attitude gets a person nowhere. Sometimes being willing to compromise, and see from someone else’s perspective, is all it takes to make a better decision. I will always be here for my babies, no matter how big they get. The only way I won’t is when the air is taken from my lungs and I will be gone from this earth.

Thank you baby girl. You are the world to me. And thank you God for that sweet simple reminder of just how much you have accomplished in my life. Thanks for having my back.

1 Comment

  1. Candy on April 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Thank you for sharing Trinda. May the peace of the Lord continue to dwell in your heart a you heal.
    You quickly caught the message from your precious daughter. God uses what is near if we listen.

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