Whispers from dad
I found a penny, not any old penny, but an old penny from you. Lying on the path to remind me that although our human paths no longer existed, you would always walk beside me. I caressed its hardness hearing your whispers in my ear, ‘I am here, I never left you.’ Its face catching the light from the sun, reflecting your love back at me.
It was you that shouted in my ear to open that computer, wasn’t it? The computer that held the double life of the beast called husband. That forced me out of my slumber and set the course for this part of my life. You were with me weren’t you when I packed the van because I am sure I couldn’t have packed so well. You sat beside me when I drove to Spain, didn’t you? When there was no radio, you entertained me with stories of derring-do.
You are here now when I wander the rambla. When the cool morning air holds me in her embrace, murmuring inspiration and advice. When the dogs run off, it is you that I ask to find them and send them home. I know that they will listen to you, you have that kind of authority. When Angel puts her paws on the table and tries to get my food, I laugh, but I can hear your stern voice ‘daughter!’. You would not approve, but you would let me do it my way, just as you did.
You did it all your way. Who knows what demons drove you to dance with the devil and drink his brew. Dance you did. Not a stiff dad dance as you did with me, calling me common because I had stained my body with a tattoo of a devil. My devil. The devil that whispers in my ear and helps me to carry my shame. Your dance was loose, unbound, without coordinated steps. You stumbled and fell often. I wonder who danced beside you and if you ever felt their presence?
When I was eight, you couldn’t and didn’t save me from the babysitter’s touch. A touch that planted that first tainted seed. A seed from which grew a rebel without a cause or a clue on how to be a woman, or how to love me. I didn’t know it was wrong and so I didn’t tell you. Instead, I let it silently fester. You only saw a naughty, willful child, but I felt alone and abandoned. I fought life; I challenged everything, and then I sat huddled and confused because no one could see my light.
When you had fights with mum, powered by your devil’s fuel, I sat with my head under the covers, waiting for one of you to leave. You stayed, but continued to stray. I watched you destroy each other. The two people I adored, still adore, creating a template for my relationships.
Still, later you didn’t save me again. That couple who groomed me. He bewitched her, and she did his evil deed. They crept inside my abandonment, and they gave me a place to be. For a short while, I thought I was found. I thought I was understood. In this while, they fed and clothed me. They gave me attention, the attention I craved from you. I woke up and realised it was corrupt and disgusting. But it was too late another piece of my soul was contaminated with another murky seed.
I saw something in you. Something that craved what I crave. It’s love. We want to be loved for who we are. Did anyone see what I saw in you? A lost child. A child that wants needs and craves love. To be seen and recognised for the beautiful soul that you were and are.
Years have rolled by and deliberately I have chosen men that looked nothing like you. They were not handsome like you were. There weren’t many. Although carefree and content with drugs and rock and roll, sex and my body were precious to me. I thought if they looked different, they would act differently. They didn’t. I left them all. Each time learning more about me. Learning about self respect and self love.
When you said when you are dead you are dead, I know that you didn’t believe it. You had been to the light, and the light sent you back. You needed to be with us, your family for a while longer. There was more that we had to do together. We had to find a place of compassion and understanding.
That week when we had our last Earthly days together, I read to you, I held your feet trying to put energy into your body so that you wouldn’t have to go, but I knew you needed to go home. My heart asked you to go to the light so that your pain would go. I begged your family to come and collect you. To hold your hand and show you the way to love and light.
You went, and now you are here by my side, showing me the way to Earthly love and light. It was you that called to me to wake up. I know you helped to save me. That’s why I know that although I am alone again, I realise that I haven’t been abandoned. I feel you close, and I know everything will be ok because now you don’t need to save me again, you just need to whisper in my ear to let me know that you have my back.