If there were such a thing as time travel I would certainly get in line for it. I wish I were able to go back and spend time with my father. Certainly there are many places and events and people from the past I find fascinating and believe would be fantastic to see and explore, but none would delight me more than zooming back to Chicago, circa 1979, and visit my dad again. He’s been gone for 30 years now and I still miss him terribly. If I were able to get a ticket for that Time Machine, I’d turn the clock back to August 29th, the day he turned 50-the age I will be on my next birthday.
How incredible it would be to face each other at the same age. My visit would precede his lung cancer. It would enable me to get to know my father from an adult perspective, a part of him I didn’t’ get to know before he died. For the first time we would be two adults having a deep conversation and exploring all the interesting things I never got to discuss with him. I would want to talk about and learn of things that help fill in the gaps of my own life. I would use that time to tell him all the things I would love for him to know about my life, my family, and specifically how he has impacted my life in such a large way even though our time together had been cut so short.
The questions would be abundant. After finding out I was adopted at 37, I would ask him why he swore family and friends to secrecy so I wouldn’t learn about being adopted. I’d question, “Are you my biological father? Why did you adopt me, of all the children available that needed homes? Who was my biological mother?”
And by the way, dad…do you know that I absolutely adore you? I love you and I’ve missed you so much through all these years since you’ve been gone.
I’d be delighted to stay home with him. I’d pay attention to every detail of his face, etching it in my mind as not to forget. I no longer remember the sound of my dad’s voice. It’s incredibly sad to me. If I were blessed with a chance to go back, I’d record long conversations between he and I and keep them forever. Never again would the sound of his voice allude me.
What would we talk about? I’d tell him my troubles. Everything. And I’d ask him for guidance and to help me figure out how to solve problems in my life and my marriage that still haunt me. I’d cry, and laugh and divulge everything to him. We would discuss everything. I’d hold his hand and look into his eyes and once again tell him how special and wonderful he is. We would bake Houska bread and drink lots of coffee. We would pick the dahlia’s and gladiolas and make pretty arrangements for the table. I’d show him pictures of my kids and tell him about their lives. I would tell him how much I love art, show him my paintings and maybe even paint with him. We would talk about mom and how she suffered at the end of her life. And I wouldn’t go to sleep for fear when I woke up he’d be gone.
Finally, we would have our photo taken together and forever I’d have something tangible of the two of us together once again at 50. Father and daughter, two people who adored each other and were together again for just a little bit, but it felt like a lifetime.