When I say dad, I say the name of a body part of mine that doesn’t have a particular name in the dictionary. The heart is the heart, the hands are the hands, the eyes are the eyes and so on. Dad doesn’t seem like a human being in the world only, dad is a part of me. A little part of my heart, of my hands, of my eyes, of my brain, of my gestures, of my warmth, of my touch, of my everything.
Might this be one of the reasons behind my desire to live everything? You want everything, as someone, once, told me. Yes(!), I replied.
I’ve, always, felt dad so subtly and yet, possibly, the most profoundly. He’s not the dad that had heard about how it’s done, was taught how to be, had seen it in movies or even in his family, growing up. He’s the dad that’s hugging us, infallibly, with his intuitive wings. We don’t all hug all the time, although, of all, it’s dad and me who have this inclination towards hugging. Arms, arms says Inga while putting her hands up in the air, from her 60 centimetres altitude, whenever she wants up in our arms and ~up~ she gets, of course. A new member has just joined your hugging club, as mom would say. We can hear the wings, imaginarily, coming towards us and something special is being created, something just floats in the air. Delicately. It’s intuition. Dad’s. He knows, but he never imposes his opinion. He says it, calmly, one time, and makes you think, makes you ask yourself questions in a way that you can give yourself the answers, too. Sooner or later.
He says it in a way that doesn’t take you off of your course, doesn’t make you depend on him, but, rather, makes you feel watched over while letting you be your own creator. In a way that makes you start believing in your own power. I’d learned that intuition doesn’t show up over night. It surprises you, on and on again, on the journey called life. It’s important to have incentives (parents, lover, friends, entourage or anything you want), but it’s vital to want to be yourself, to listen to your soul.
When dad started to talk about sex with me – in a key moment of my life, when a relationship was twisting my mind instead of f*cking it in the most magical way – my knees started to shake, a lump showed up in my throat, everything was on the plate, but that’s when I knew just how great dad is.
I was still living with my parents when a friend came over, one night, and we all discussed about some vacation. Many years later, she told me just how stunned she was to see my mom sitting on my dad’s lap with dad’s arms around her, on the couch. She was stunned by the ease none of us was, even, conscious of. I was even more stunned that something like that could’ve ever stunned anyone; it’s always been so natural to me.
And you start to understand stuff…
Love, I’ve learned, doesn’t mean dependence on someone. It’s the independence. Love is that something you almost don’t, even, feel. It’s that something so sophisticated, tender, gentle, piercing, pure, distinguished, that I don’t want to even finish the phrase. Don’t want to put it in any sort of box, in any sort of category. I’ve, always, felt that dad gave me freedom while being dad’s girl. Mom and me, we’re dad’s girls. Dad’s girls here, dad’s girls there; we never let him loose. Wide grin. Luckily, my dad has a son, too. I, once, spotted them in a discussion I tried to squeeze in, but didn’t succeed. It were them two, dad and son, on their own wave, even if it were the three of us in our sauna. So to speak, there was a pool that had a sauna, too. That’s when I told myself Why didn’t you come with us, mom?
I haven’t, ever, heard dad saying that he’s tired. Surgeries, saving lives, patients that don’t stop from questioning all sort of things at any hour of the day or Sunday night, his girls, his boy that now is a surgeon himself, but, boy, did he party back in the days! Everything with a naturalness, ease and, without exception, one hundred percent involved in anything he’s involved in. Dad is sitting at the table without having the need to be acknowledged. Dad is present, present more through his silence than through discussions for the sake of discussions. Dad is not the man that goes out with men. Dad goes out if he wants to go out. Dad is on his own wave. My brother is, too. They’re different, but it’s something they have in common that I believe I want in my man, too. It’s the realness. They’re real. Or is it some kind of grace? Integrity. Kindness. A special sort of loyalty?
Being raised by a strong father who has a lot of goodness makes you feel good about men.
Or no to mom. Dad doesn’t throw words around to make you believe he’s going to bring you the moon and the stars, the world is a sparkle, life is pink and if we stay positive, everything will be fine. It’s what I’m telling him all the time. People, unfortunately, have limits, Cristina, he once told me while driving. On the other hand, dad is the one that makes me believe in anything I trust to believe in, as long as it comes from inside of me, I have an open mind, a fiery heart and I don’t stop on the journey.
I only stop to hear the stillness, to look love in the eye, look around, watch the fruit grow in the trees he’d planted, the flowers blooming, take pictures of the sky, film the rain, float on waves, both literally and metaphorically.
But, jees, the moments when he takes me on a ride to pull me completely out of dreaming! Oh no, it’s one of those moments, I tell myself. Cristina, I will only tell you this one time. Do you… … …? It’s the moments when he puts me in front of myself, I came to understand. It’s not about authority, it’s about his wish to know I’m well. Or about checking up on me. He never checked my homework in school, either. It wasn’t necessary, I was aware of the probability that he just might and it was enough. Same goes for mom; the two of them, always a team. When I used to come home in the morning from dancing out all night, he looked at me and smelled me. He’s been so firm about not developing an addiction for smoking. Or any addiction, really. Soda even. He, involuntarily, taught me to not depend on anyone but myself, yet to love with my all heart, also. You’re responsible for your own happiness.
One of the most interesting stories I have ever heard is my dad’s and he never makes a point out of it, out of it being heard. Nope, it’s the evenings that we’re in the mood to talk or not, it’s the mornings over coffee, when he drops by my place for a couple of moments. He’s not the kind to lay down in the middle of the day and wait for the hours to pass by. He’s always with the come on! in his arms, unless it’s his youngest niece in his arms. Very few times he said no to me. But the yeses always come from the trust that what I want I want cleanly and truly.
This is what he’s always needed to see in my eyes. Gotcha, dad!
A no that comes to mind is Cristina, I can’t get used to the watch around my wrist, stop with this stuff. This stop has always had a sort of charm about it. Dad is one of the few men I know that can’t stand any kind of jewellery on his body. It feels hindering to him; I’m sure it’s because of or thanks to his purpose of being a surgeon, all his life, and having to get rid of anything that is not sterile on him. I don’t think his backbone specialisation is random. My brother’s same specialisation is confirmation. It’s legacy.
Fascinating was dad’s answer to my question, a few years ago, casually, over lunch. Dad, what did you dream of becoming when you were a child? Aviator, he replies. My eyes grew the size of the Earth, but I’d figured this is what the Universe made him become.
Free as a bird in the sky.
Dad made me believe in the potential of ideal love. I saw, with my own eyes, throughout my life, that it is possible. It’s not just in the movies or the fairytales with princes and princesses. Maybe it’s the reality that’s meant to be with kings, like dad.
And queens, like mom. Mom used to work in finance, she granted architectural projects, she dreamed of becoming a doctor. Hm. They have totally different from mine or my my brother’s stories, but the heart, the heart… I’m not ending this.
Dad… The tone I use is full of fireworks, accompanied by hearts in my eyes, a huge smile on my lips – that can not be hidden, but that hides, in fact, a tilt of the head that implies an almost too good to be true (and it is true) – and a smile inside my soul that very few can decode.
Decode, numbers, mathematics, life, chemistry.