I’m cheating on this one

(So Don’t Even Think of Calling Me Out — I’m Guilty as Charged)

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It’s funny that this would be a prompt. I learned the value of saying things I’ve never said on April 15, 1994. And I learned it the hard way. As that’s the day my father died.

I can best summarize my relationship with my father as him seeing me as an orange and wanting me to be an apple, and me needing orange juice from him, the quintessential apple. There was so much that went unsaid, unmentioned, and not discussed between us.

Fear not, after a couple years of therapy some five years after his passing, I made peace with my resentment over the past that never was and accepted the past that was for what it was. But in the secret places of my heart, I still long for those conversations that didn’t take place. A uniquely comic image (or tragic, depending on your outlook) that comes to mind that describes my feelings on the situation is that of an ancient Greek terra cotta amphora (vase) that’s been shattered, but carefully reassembled thanks to Scotch tape and Super Glue and is sufficiently functional enough to fulfill its purpose: hold wine or olive oil, but it still springs leaks every now and then.

So now …

I try to make known to the people I love dearly in no uncertain terms what they mean to me (including what I love most about them and what they’ve unknowingly taught me). I used to do this exclusively in handwritten form, so they’d, you know … “have in writing.” [chuckle] But over the last few years, I’ve moved away from that form of communication for people I have opportunity to relate to in person, and replaced it with the practice of wringing my heart of its contents before loved ones during face-to-face conversations (sans alcohol or tears).

I suppose I could get back into the habit of writing that type of letter, but nothing beats the bit of sadistic glee that comes from watching someone struggle to manage all their feels upon learning the depth of my adoration and appreciation for the gift they are to me. (Of course, it’s no surprise to them at all; but we humans don’t make transparency common practice.)

Come on, who doesn’t value love? Plus in life, once they’re gone there are no do-overs.

(Don’t let this practice of mine deter you from getting together in person with me for coffee — I don’t hang the glee out there for quite “all” the world to see.)


Author, artist, accidental activist, founder Our Human Family (http://medium.com/our-human-family). Social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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