I’m nearly 40 years old and my parents have been divorced most of my life. My relationship with each of them is unique–crafted by their human experience and mine. Just like everyone else, we are affected deeply by the decisions we’ve all made. And tonight, though deeply exhausted, I’m tossing and turning, thinking about the consistency of my dad’s phone calls.
My dad calls me on Sundays.
When I was a child, I believe, it was every other Sunday. As I’ve grown older, more Sundays may pass between the calls and we alternate who does the calling, but we talk. I love those calls with my whole heart. I rattle on about my world and he listens, and it doesn’t matter what stories bubble up for me to share with him. Some Sundays, I go on and on for so long that when it’s over, I giggle like a little girl and brag to my wife and children about his willingness to sit there while I go on and on.
He tells me stories, too. And I love them. I cling to them. My dad is a masterful storyteller. In that way, I’d like to be like him when I grow up.
Sometimes when it’s over, I wonder if he even cares about the things I talk to him about, but he keeps calling, and I’m so thankful for that. I’m especially touched of late because I’ve seen–sometimes from a distance and sometimes right here in my own home–what happens when dads don’t call.
I’m trying to think back to when I was a teenage girl, trying to remember more about those calls. I’ll be honest, I can’t imagine I was always fun for him to talk to. I was moody and sometimes even angry. Certainly, I didn’t appreciate his calls as I do now. Frankly, I can’t imagine that I was so charming that he couldn’t wait to call… but he called. He called and he listened to me.
For nearly forty years, he called. Tonight, to be honest, given all that I’ve watched my children go through in the last six months… that feels almost superhuman.
Thank you for calling, Dad. I love you.