My birthday was this weekend. As much as I love my birthday, I was grieving. My father’s anniversary of his death is next month. This was my first birthday without a call from him.

Even though in previous years I never thought about his phone calls, this years I would have given anything to get just one more phone call from him!

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to saving his last voicemail to me. I couldn’t stop crying as I listened to the message. I miss his voice so much!

My father and I were not the closest. I was daddy’s little girl when I was about 6 or 7. But I also wrote a story in grade school about how he pushed my mother into a wall over a check book. He did his best, but he was far from the loving dad that most kids have. There is no doubt that he wished I was a boy, and he treated me as such (which I didn’t mind as I learned valuable skills). He took me fishing all the time, and he taught me his business in woodworking and refinishing. I gained a lot of confidence from working at his business. I learned how to take apart his truck engine, and I helped him build a wooden bed to his truck.

He never thought I could accomplish anything. When I shared something I wanted to do, he would tell me I couldn’t. I don’t know if he was trying to be realistic with me, or just mean. But it made me push harder. I always wanted to prove people wrong, and still do.

He always did better with me when I wasn’t around. Sounds strange, but as I look back, its true. Living at home, he never asked how I was or what was going on in school. When I left for college, he would call me regularly and ask how things were. Then when I moved to Texas, he didn’t call as often, but he would check in every 6 months or so, especially during holidays and my birthday. I hardly ever called on his birthday…and he would call me a few weeks later and remind me that I didn’t call. I found it funny.

He was trying so hard to be apart of my life again, and to hear about his grandkids. That’s what hurts the most. After everything, he was finally trying to be my father.

But now I don’t get any calls, and I miss them.

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