I Have Cried Every Night Since My Dad Died

I have cried every night since my dad died. It happens rather quickly, much like a summer storm, on an uncomfortably sticky evening on a beach vacation.

My head wells up with memories, specifically conversations, that I shared with my dad. It’s nice for a little while, reminiscing the wise and all too funny quips he had.

I think of the Barnes and Noble near my childhood house that we frequented during summer vacation. Dad would take us there after his shift or on days off. The cool blast of air coming from the AC units and the smell of new books straight out of the cardboard boxes, greeting us as we made our way in. Dad would saunter over to the magazines and periodicals — toting my younger sister along since she rarely left his side in public at this age. I would make my way past the best sellers and new releases to the young adult section. Dad never bothered me there, he knew that it was my happy place. An hour would pass and I would finally narrow down my selections. I would rejoin my dad and sister in the cafe and we would review what I had. Typically fiction titles. Dad insisted on buying it all — one of my many memories of his unrelenting support. We would sip on our caramel macchiatos (he started us on caffeine young) and then pay. It was our tradition, something us three held sacred weekly for many years. I relish in this memory specifically because it is the start of my interest in writing.

But then, darkness. I realize dad is not here anymore. I won’t be able to visit a bookstore again with him. I won’t be able to ask him his thoughts on anything. Again. I am lost in my own thoughts; I feel like I am sinking.

I come around in the morning, when the light peaks its way through the shades. When I have to get up to walk the dog, get ready for work, to make sure I can support myself. I keep busy — distract myself with work, plan free time activities, hang out with friends. I recognize I will be on this roller coaster for awhile.

Until then, I focus on dad’s laugh, his jokes, and his smile. His champion understanding and broad acceptance. The inherent look of mischief in his eyes. I wish things were different, I wish him nearby. But it’s always been a “see ya wouldn’t wanna be ya” and never a goodbye.

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