Today would have marked my Dad’s 54th birthday. This is my favorite photo of the two of us and it is now framed and resting on my bookshelf where I can see it everyday. I love that we are dancing, I love the carefree look on my face and the smile on his. Times were not always so bright between the two of us. I spent many years disappointed in him, angry and resentful of his actions and the pain that he inflicted on me and others. But I also got to spend years learning from him. He offered invaluable advice-objective opinions peppered with tokens of wisdom that only a man who has hurt others can give. He taught me that the only person I could ultimately change was myself. I either had to decide to radically accept others or suffer the pain of trying to make them adapt as I wished. I’m still learning that lesson. I’m still growing to understand the nature of addiction and to see its impact on my family. I’m trying to do it all, one day at a time.
Happy Birthday Dad. I miss you. I think of you everyday-every time I tie my running shoes, every time I pass this photo on my shelf. I love you, Jess.