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June 18, 2015

How my Father forgave me Posthumously.

Daddy's girl

I was daddy’s little girl.

I adored my father and always tried my best to please him.

On holidays, we’d get together with his cousins, Anita and Roxy, who lived across town.

Anita had a stepson, Edward, who was a few years older than me—I mostly ignored him. Roxy had two girls, who were my age—we loved playing together. They were happy years.

During my teenage years, I was model child. I was involved in sports, music, church and kicked butt in school. My father was delighted that I was a good citizen.

Fast forward to college: I fell in love with the Grateful Dead.

I spent a lot of time following the Grateful Dead on tour. My father was not happy with me, and understandably so—he was an old-fashioned man and I was leading a rather wild life. Finally, when I was 21-years-old, I decided to shack up with my boyfriend, who I’d met on Grateful Dead tour. When I told my father, he was furious. He said he’d have to think about it and get back to me.

We never got to work it out—my father had a heart attack and died two days later.

I would spend the rest of my life knowing that my father was angry with me. I was unforgiven.

Or so I thought.

About a month after my dad died, the Grateful Dead were playing a show in my hometown. I ran into my 8th grade boyfriend, Lane—we had a nice, ordinary visit. I didn’t think much of it at the time.

Little did I know, here began my journey towards my father’s forgiveness. 

Fast forward 10 years: one night I was at a Ween concert, and who should I run into but Lane. He was with one of his out of town friends, Ed. Ed had a magnetic personality and we clicked instantly. As it turns out, Ed was planning to move to Boulder, where I lived. Yay!

When he got to town, Ed and I became fast friends. He was the best companion. Whenever we spent time together, it felt like an adventure.

One day when I was wishing Ed a happy birthday on his Facebook page, I noticed my dad’s cousin, Anita, had also wished him a happy birthday.

How peculiar.

I asked Ed how he knew her and he said Anita was his stepmother.

What!? My good buddy, Ed, was my cousin. Wow. What luck!

It wasn’t long before he and I were getting together with Anita for barbecues. It was a happy reunion—I’d lost touch with my dad’s side of the family after his funeral. She would tell me stores about how my dad cherished me and how I had made him proud.

I was at yoga last night and found myself suddenly thinking about this whole chain of events. It became crystal clear—me being on Grateful Dead tour, all those years ago, had angered my father but ultimately led me to reconnecting with his family.

Half my life later, I finally feel my father’s forgiveness.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I love you.

~

Relephant read:

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Waiting for a Miracle. {Poem}

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Author: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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