My entire life I knew my parents as a duo. You could not mention one without thinking of the other. At gatherings people would always ask how my mom and dad were and as I left they would tell me "say hi to your parents". I look at pictures of my parents together, so young and happy and I feel this dull ache that I cannot yet define. I remember how as a child I would get so giddy whenever they would hug and kiss. I guess there is some natural comfort that comes when you see both your parents happy and together.
This past week has been so strange and disorienting. I have lost track of time and though I was down for three weeks, it seems to have been both days and an entire lifetime. I long to hear his voice and am scrambling to remember what was the last thing he told me. I actually do remember now what it was.
I had a father for 33 years and I have been without one for a little over a week now. It is taking time to adjust to the idea of not being any one's little princess anymore. That is how he called me, his little princess, my brother was his sunshine and my mom was his sweetheart. I know this blog is about my little ninja, but she cannot exits without my family. My father always expressed his emotions with us and taught me how to love. When I look at Emma I am filled so much love that at times I feel I will simply burst. I know the way I look at Emma was the same way he looked at us.
I have helped clean out some of his drawers and closets, hoping to find some last trace of him, or perhaps some handwritten note that will tell me one last story. In my sorting, I have found his birth certificate and gently caressed his baby footprint. I also found some envelopes that had written on them "For Tommy Jr. and Michelle". It was some money he had been saving, not much, but the beauty of it was that I quickly realized that money was money we had given him as gifts throughout the years. He was saving it so he could one day give it back to us. He even saved a lucky five dollar bill I gave him, note and all. He was such a selfless man that he couldn't even spend the money his children gave him. I think that was the moment when I felt his loss with such a heavy weight that I became inconsolable.
While in his closet I smelled his sweaters and shirts in hopes of catching his scent and though most of them were clean and smelled more like Tide, I did have some "luck". I even found his Aqua Vela aftershave. I swear that bottle has to be at least 20 years old, but it was what he wore most and as I opened the bottle I was transported back in time, just like that scene in Ratatouille when Ego takes his first bite of his meal. I remember running up to hug him as he went to work. I always loved hugging him because he was so tall and he would always lift me up. I really do miss him, he was a quiet man, but I never for once doubted he loved me. He was always there, providing us with security, love and a great life.