The last time I saw my father alive was twenty Thanksgivings ago.
He came up here to my grandparents’ house, where I had been living since my mother passed a few years earlier.
The next night Granny stood in the doorway of my bedroom and told me the news.
“Somebody killed your daddy.”
I was sitting on my bed at the time. Just like I was last night when The Attorney stood in the same spot she had, leaning against the door frame.
Granny’s lean was to support herself, looking at me in sorrow.
The Attorney’s look was more of sympathy.
I had just told him that I realized that it was the 20th anniversary of my father’s murder.
As I did, the two moments, Granny 20 years ago and The Attorney now, suddenly fused together in my brain and I burst into tears.
Crying is not something I do.
I don’t say that as a prideful thing. I say it as a statement of fact.
I just don’t cry.
Ironically, to not cry is a behavior that was drilled into me by my father.
Boy, do I feel.
But I don’t ever let it show.
I think about what our relationship was, my father and I.
And what it might have been had he survived.
He loved me, but it was always at arms length. No matter how much I tried, unlike my brother, I was never quite what he wanted me to be.
I still probably would not be.
He’s been on my mind all week, and I feel like he’s been with me.
So, maybe after twenty years on the other side, he has come to peace with who I am, and my emotional release was him releasing me to be me.
Perhaps it’s time that I come to peace with it, too.
That’s something I’m thankful for after twenty Thanksgivings.
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