Monday, June 20, 2011

Daddy's girl.

I have sort of a complicated relationship with my dad.

Growing up, he was never around that much. We lived in Sweden (and bali for a year) but my dad's job (international chef) kept him moving around a lot. He has had an amazing career that's taken him to dozens and dozens of different countries for work, and I respect him so much for that. I know so few people that have the kind of passion and talent for their job as he does, so I never blamed him for the jobs he took. And when he would work for a couple of months and come home for a few weeks at a time, made those times with him so special.

Then we moved to the US when I was 11, and all of a sudden he was around so much more. He didn't travel very much for work anymore, and we were so close. I'm the middle of 5 so there was always competing for his attention, but I was daddy's little girl. I know parents aren't supposed to have favorites, and I know he didn't love me any more than my siblings, but I think I sort of was his favorite. We are a lot alike, and I'm the stubborn one. I think maybe he can relate more to me. Plus I was the only one who would tell him off when I thought he was being an ass, and it honestly made us closer.

My dad isn't the perfect dad by most people's standards. He wasn't around for every birthday or holiday. He sometimes forgets to call on birthdays, he doesn't know what day of the week it is most time. This hurt my siblings feels I think, but not me. I think I just realized more that that's who he is. He isn't the dad who remembers every birthday, or even how old we are half the time. But instead of wishing he was like the other dads who showed up for every recital and ball game, I respected and loved him for who he was. He was off traveling most of the time, but when he was around, and I have 4 concerts in one day? He came to Every. Single. Concert. He listened to me sing the same damn song 4 times in a day, sitting through 8 hours worth of concert to hear his little girl sing. And when he was off doing his weekend of army stuff (on top of a more than full time job as a chef he was int he army reserve serving a country that wasn't even his) he and several of his 'army friends' (don't know what else to call them) drove 3 hours one way to sit through a hour 3 Des Moines Children's choir concert where I was one of a hundred singing. Not only that, he somehow talked them into giving them all front row seats at the civic center so he could see me front and center.

A week after I had Jasper? He flew in from Brazil on his very short time off to meet his first grandbaby (and at the time he had a pregnant wife in brazil who was also battling breast cancer, so him leaving was not an easy thing to do) 

For my wedding he was working in Europe, and flew all the way in from Italy to not only walk me down the isle, but also, along with my amazingly talented brothers, prepare hundreds of fancy  hors d'oeuvres for 250 guests the day before the wedding.

In December he left his job in brazil to be with his dying mother in Sweden. He sat by her bedside in the hospital all day every day for almost 5 months. He put his whole life on hold to be there with her. I respect and admire him so much for that, and hope some day Jasper would be willing to do the same thing for me. I was there with him for 10 of those days, and while it was the hardest 10 days of my life, I'm glad I was able to be there for him. We became so much closer over those 10 days. He shared with me, we bonded, and cried together. It was the most time we had spent together in my adult life, since we haven't lived in the same country since I was 19 (my parent's divorced when I was 16) and it was truly special. 

(Farmor's 80th birthday, a month before she passed away. He smuggled wine into the hospital for her and she Loved it) 
My dad might not be the typical dad, but I'm so lucky, honored and proud to call him mine.

1 comment:

  1. Darlene I love this post, it almost made me cry!! I think you have an amazing dad that truly loves you with all his heart, and like you said maybe he is not like all the other dad's around the world but hey who's is? I think our parents to the best they can in their own way :) Puss och kram