Dear Mr. Melissa BLake:
Did you ever have one of those revelations that come from the most unlikely of places, Sweetpea? I had one a few weeks ago. I was immersing myself in all the glitz and glam that was Kim Kardashian’s wedding. What, you didn’t know know about my little obsession with reality television? Ooops…more about that later.
But on that night, I sat there in my living room watching as Kim got ready for her big day, and I could feel myself getting teary eyed as Kim described her sadness over her father not being there for her special day. I know it might sound stupid, Sweetpea. After all, my father’s been gone for 8 years; you’d think I’d have come to terms with this fact by now. But in some sense, it’s almost as if it’s been that little elephant that’s always been in the back of my mind. The little elephant that I know is there, but that I try so desperately to avoid. Maybe if I avoid him, said little elephant will end up trotting off into the distance and leave me alone.
And yet here was Kim herself putting into words all the emotions I’ve felt but have been afraid to express. No, my father won’t be there on my wedding day. No, he won’t be there to walk me down the aisle. No, he won’t be there for the reception dance or toast. No, he won’t be here for one of the most important days of my life. And you know what, Sweetpea? That makes me incredibly sad. It makes me miss him all over again. I suppose I have to find a way to come to terms with that. I know it probably sounds like such a minor thing to you, Sweetpea, but I’m realizing that our wedding is another event to add to the Things Melissa’s Father Will Miss List. I don’t mean to sound angry. I really don’t.
But for women like myself, anticipating the gigantic void left by your father’s absence can get to feeling overwhelming. After all, we’ve been dreaming about our wedding day since we were little girls, in those early days when putting your tiny hand in your father’s huge hand suddenly just made everything right in your little world, in the days when your father was the smartest person in the whole world, in the days when there was absolutely nothing in this world that an ice cream cone couldn’t cure.
Do you remember that scene in Father of the Bride (another one of my favorites) when Steve Martin’s character looks back on his life with his daughter? I sometimes wonder if my father would have done that before my wedding if he were here. What would he remember? What snapshots would stand out tall and mighty against the others? The summer nights we sat in our backyard and he’d give me little lessons about the planets and stars and galaxies? The time I couldn’t help but laugh at him when he was so proud of himself for memorizing the names of all the members of Nsync and the Backstreet Boys? Or how about the times when he’d come home from work so excited to read the newest article I’d written for my college newspaper?
So yes, like Kim, I’ll probably shed a tear or two on our wedding day, Sweetpea. I suppose you should just expect it. I’m sure it will be a cathartic experience, for both of us. Until we meet… xoxo
[Photos via Pinterest]