When a father leaves a child on this earth with nothing to be proud of- when his sisters forget his ashes and get the gravestone wrong- it hurts to remember you come from a legacy of disappointment.
It's been four years.
Every winter I play the fool- I look at the calendar and I tell myself not to worry- this year it won't hurt so bad. And boy am I ever wrong. March comes around and I find myself in the same spot.
My father was a failure. He was a drunk. He pawned my birthday presents, left me on the curb, delivered me to evil women. He never taught me how to expect men to treat me well. In order to properly mourn someone, you need pride. You need legacy. You need something that connects. By all accounts and purposes I've got nothing.
That's where the dog comes in.
By the time my father left this earth I did not know him anymore. I have been searching so damn hard for four years to find him again. This week against the better judgement of absolutely everyone I decided to bring home a foster dog. And now I can't stop crying at stoplights.
It's never been just me and a dog before. Sitting here on my bed with 60 pounds of fur and bones asleep at my feet, I feel complete. And I feel like my dad is so much closer than he's been in years, dead or alive. Even when everything else failed- we both spoke the same language when it came to this. I'm glad I can still speak it.
This is not permanent- I still have to go west before I take full responsibility of such a regal creature. But I know he would be proud.
And for the first time in four years, I'm proud he would be.