“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” ~ Rumi
A single kiss can say more than a thousand words whispered into a loved one’s ear.
A kiss can heal a floundering soul.
A kiss freely given, is an I love you no matter what.
The kiss that forever changed my world was not from a lover, a spouse or from my child.
It was from my father when I was struggling to find my way amidst a whirlwind of teenage angst.
My father and I had a sometimes tumultuous relationship. The words I love you and daily embraces were not the way of my family of two sisters.
We were united in unspoken love and family loyalty..
In one particular crisis which is too close to my heart to divulge, our relationship came to an inevitable crossroads
At this intersecting of buried hurts, anger and untold truths, we had no choice but to face our convoluted emotions with our eyes and hearts wide open.
He was silent as I spoke the words he did not want to hear and I did not want to say. He had nothing to say in reply. His silence was somehow worse than anything he might have said.
He was too upset to speak about it. He was too broken to eat and he spent three sleepless nights worrying about his youngest daughter.
For days, I walked through the empty rooms of my house like a ghostly presence. I felt detached. Watching my parents without ever uttering a sound.
My heart felt hollow. I was lost in self doubt.
I recognized the familiar sound of the slippered footsteps as they crossed the blue carpeted floor. The six foot stature of the robed figure.
My breath caught in my throat as my father approached my bed.
Without saying a word, he bent over and kissed me softly on the forehead. His lips felt warm and tender. He left as silently as he had come.
Afterwards, I could not stop crying. I knew that he loved me.
I knew I had been forgiven.
I could not remember the last time he had kissed me. It was probably when I was a child when he would swing my sisters and I between his legs and up into the air as we squealed with joy.
Or when he would hold me in his arms at night and look out the window with me and ask me what I saw.
His kiss that night said more to me than any words he could have ever said.
We did not speak about the kiss the next day but we did not have to.
I knew that he loved me unconditionally. I knew he loved me the best way he knew how.
It is funny now that I am in my 40s, I cannot believe how much I needed that kiss to validate me. I was looking for others to tell me I was lovable.
Loving yourself is what makes you strong.
You are love.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself; allowing for and recognizing that you are not without flaws.
Sometimes If I close my eyes at night I can still almost feel the same warmth of his lips on my forehead. The slight moisture his lips left on my skin.
Although he is no longer in this physical world, I am sending him a kiss as I write this.
I love you too Dad, no matter what.
Cindy Lee Lothian
February 8, 2013
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta