Funny rules for dating my daughter

Any milestone is tinged with their absence, any joy feels like a betrayal, like you’ve forgotten them, if only for long enough to laugh at a good joke or enjoy a good meal.But as long as you’re in mourning, your life is still about them, and in that way, they’re still there.My life philosophy revolved around the fact that I didn’t plan to live past my twenties, so it didn’t matter if the drugs I took were cut with all kinds of toxic chemicals or if a fourteen-year-old girl really shouldn’t walk alone on Avenue D at three in the morning.I smoked cigarettes not in spite of the fact that they’d shorten my life, but hoping they would.I was crying because he would never be there again — he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle, he wouldn’t meet my children, he wouldn’t see me accomplish any of the things that he wanted for me.I was crying because he wouldn’t be there for any of my future.As long as I was depressed and surly, my father was still close to me. Of course there’s guilt for everything left unsaid, guilt for not making the most of the time you had, but the bigger, deeper guilt is for every moment you have after they’re gone.

I was an angry teenager; I dropped out of high school, chugged cheap vodka out of plastic bottles, and fantasized about the apocalypse.I cried not just for the end of that perfect weekend, but for the next week, when we’d be back in different cities, on opposite sides of the country.I cried for the coming summer, when I’d eat ice cream alone and wish he was there walking and joking with me.“Never be embarrassed by your ability to make just the right sentence, with all of the exact words you wanted and needed.” By the time that letter made its way across the country to our mailbox in New York, he was dead.Those last words of fatherly praise and advice suddenly became as precious as Moses’ tablets; words from beyond, all there would ever be.

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