Yesterday I wrote about how my dad sent me a birthday card in the mail. I glazed over the magnitude of this gesture. The truth is that my dad and I haven't talked for two years, and for the five years before that, we talked at one Christmas meal each year. The rest of the time: silence.
It's not that we haven't been talking in some big dramatic fight kind of way. We just haven't talked. Childhood fights took their toll and the resulting distance became Just How It Is. During this silent time, I worked my process. And there was rich material. By now, I have learned to meet my dad on higher level. In my meditations, I imagine us on Clear Creek beach in Ontario, Canada, where I grew up. I'm looking for shells, sea glass and lures. Dad squats at the shore staring out at the water. Reading the waves. Intuiting where to find the fish. We are chatting. I ask questions. He answers. Sometimes he answers like an old medicine man, wise and calm, but always he answers with humor, which is so him.
The air between us is calm, which is not how it has been since my single digit years. In this space on the beach, he is just my dad. He's not a guy who made life choices that confuse me. He's just my dad who has always been there and who will always be there, answering any question I happen to have.
So when I got this birthday card from him, the first word from him in a few years, it isn't that he remembered my birthday. It's that he remembered me. I've felt so forgotten for so very long. It's nice to be remembered.