Thursday, January 29, 2009
I love him. Deeply, Madly and truly More than I ever thought possible.
I've spent the last sixteen of my years with him, but something is noticeably different the past four months. I think it's called surrender.
I've always been an independent soul. Probably too independent for my own good. And while I have enjoyed and relied upon the partnership that I share with him, I think I have always relied on myself first and foremost. Honestly, I think he would be the first to tell you that one of the things he loves most about me is my independent spirit, my determination to be my own self.
Certainly he is my partner in every sense of the word. I couldn't ask for a better father for my children, a better friend or soul mate. I can't imagine my world without him, nor would I want to. He is the first person I choose to be with, the first person I seek out when I have something to say or when something is troubling me. His is the opinion I value the most. He makes me a better person.
A few weeks before my dad died, I sat at the kitchen counter with him, trying to find words, but barely being able to choke out the sobs. I heard him quietly get up, grab the phone and cancel a much anticipated bike trip for the upcoming weekend. "I've never seen her like this. I need to be here."
And honestly, I haven't felt him leave my side ever since. Physically or figuratively. His is a constant presence that I have come to rely upon, to need, much like I need air to breathe. He comforts me and calms me in a way that no one else can. It's not even something that I can do for myself.
A parent has a remarkable unconditional love for their child. I was my dad's only daughter. I know he loved me without question. I remember sitting on his bed during one of his last days and tenderly shaving his white whiskers. "Thank you for taking care of me", he whispered. It was then that it hit me that my dad had taken care of me my entire life, that no other man would love me in quite the same unconditional way that my dad did.
And yet, I have felt the same safety, the same security with Tony, in his love for me. I have felt it in ways I never imagined possible. I am humbled in his unselfish, constant care of me. Of how he has quietly and consistently served me and put my needs ahead of his own for several months. Perhaps it has always been there, this unconditional love. Maybe for the first time I have allowed myself to let go and experience it, to surrender myself completely to the care of someone else.
In losing my dad, I have discovered what an incredible life partner I have. He has always been here, of this I am sure. But now I see him with new eyes. And the more I feel his unconditional love for me, the deeper I fall in love with him.