ITs been 2 years. 2 years since I left my house and family. 2 years since I practiced medicine. 2 years since my ex sent a letter to all my family, friends, pastors, and patients detailing what a bad guy I was. Its been 2 years since some of them passed judgment on me and stopped talking to me. Its been 2 years since my kids have said, “Happy Birthday, Dad.” or “Happy Father’s Day.” or even, “I had a good time, thanks.” Its been a long two years.
I had decided this father’s day would look just like the previous ones. My youngest daughter is with me this year for a few weeks over the summer. I had decided it is just the way she needs to heal and to ignore it. We were going to be taking my father to the airport and so had to leave the house a bit early. I got her up and nothing. She was pretty tired, so I ignored it. We ate breakfast and she got ready. Before we left, “Happy Father’s Day.” I stopped in my tracks. I made sure I heard what I thought I heard. My internal workings steamed up with the revelation that she had said it. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, as to not scare her away like a rabbit on the bike trail. I answered, “Thank you very much.” On the way to my Dad’s house, I fought back tears and the urge to explain in painful detail why that meant so much to me. I was able to stifle my impulse but did say, “Thanks again for telling me that, it meant a lot.”
I figured we were done. Later that evening, I went to change into my swimsuit. Next to my bed was a card and a crumpled piece of paper. I opened the card and read it. It was pretty funny and said, “Happy Father’s Day”. The crumpled piece of paper had a ribbon on it. I opened it and found a ghost keychain inside. When you pushed a button it made a sound (I assume it was supposed to be a ghost sound, but it is more of a squeaky wheel) and its eyes lit up. I just sat there. My heart leapt and my face fell.
Ive had some good presents in my day, but this is my Red Ryder BB gun with a thing in the stock that tells time.