So many days, a whole year and few days (to be exact), have passed since the most traumatic moment of my life occurred. May 27, 2015 will always be a most significant day in my life. This is the day I received the call that my father had died in a motorcycle collision.
I did not get the privilege of having my father raise me. As a matter of fact, he had no idea I was alive until I was seven years old. I do not blame my mother or anyone else for that lack of patriarchal influence in my life. I cannot do that to her or to them. Knowing I was not with him everyday made the grief of losing him harder and easier, simultaneously.
How can I have the right to mourn someone I loved when I had not seen them but a handful of times in my life, when my baby sister and brother lost the person they looked to for everything, everyday? Grief is strange. I know that I have the right to mourn the loss of my father, because of that, the fact he was my father.
He became more interested in my life as I grew old enough to be independent, though. He “surprised” me by attending my college graduation, and that is the moment I thought to myself.. “Brianna, it does not matter what he has, or has not, done all of these years. Love him. Dote on him. Let him see that no matter what happens, or where we end up in life, he will be able to be there for you.” So I did. I was the perfect daughter that graduation weekend. I hated to say goodbye. (He lives in Wisconsin, which is about 9 hours from Tennessee.) I had a few important days approaching and I was nervous and stoked about them. He was the only person, other than my lovely best friend Amanda, to remember to wish me luck on those days. I did not have to be talking to him or to continue a day long text thread.. he simply remembered the dates and showed me he cared with his quick words.
… And that is why I hurt so much. He was starting to take interest in my life. He was coming around and talking to me more than ever. He was building a relationship with his eldest daughter. And then the tragedy hit.
It was 3:00 a.m. I was sleeping next to my then boyfriend. I do not know how or why I was able to wake up to my phone vibrating on a pillow, on the floor next to the bed, but I was. I noticed it was a call from Monroe. I knew I needed to answer it. I just was not ready for the words my grandmother had to say. I lost it. For days. I could not do anything but blame the universe for taking him from me when I just so suddenly was able to hold on tight.
To this day, I think.. What if I had gone to that In This Moment concert on graduation weekend? What if I had not taken my mom’s advice to come home the night before I walked across that stage? I would have missed one of my most cherished moments in life.. seeing him so proud of me. Grinning from ear to ear. Maybe I was given that one good weekend. It was all for me. Mine. So that I could appreciate the significance of small moments. The significance of a smile or a hug.
I use this significance daily now. I do not take advantage of my family or those moments. I savor them..
I am stronger now. He is with me everyday.