I have always heard my friends say they couldn't wait to go off to college and at one point in my life neither could I. Since I was six years old I knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. It was a dream both my mom and I talked about. Following in her footsteps, becoming a lawyer was the legacy she left me. But what would I be leaving behind was even more than I could bear.

My dad had been my rock, and I had been his. His promises to her had kept the monster death at bay. I knew he had been close to going on that journey with her, but she begged him to be there to give me away and to hold his first grandchild, tears spilling from his eyes as he looked upon the love of his life for the last time, he said yes.

I had my mother for fourteen years, a brilliant lawyer in her prime taken by breast cancer while she was trying to have another baby. It wasn't fair. She had so much left to give and I was determined to continue that legacy of helping people who couldn't help themselves.

The days before my flight I made a plan I spent two days with my friends doing trivial things like shopping for my dorm room, trying to secure a job, even though my dad could afford to send me to Harvard I decided that I wanted to earn my own money to supplement my living expenses he had offered to do everything but I had said no. Once I had got a job a few blocks from the campus I had the rest of the time to organized my belongings and spend time with my dad. He was eager, I must say, I assumed he was in a hurry to get me to leave, but as time went on I realized he looked melancholy and I began to worry as usual, how was I to leave when he looked so forlorn. So I became a fixture at his side every chance I got.

At one point I thought he was probably sick of me cause I never left his side. I didn't have a boyfriend in high school because I was always at home expecting the worst. My dad dealt with his grieve by burying himself in his work and even being my rock for the last four years. So I decided for the last time, we could do the thing he wished for years, camping, he always begged me to go and I always said no. My dad is as much of an outdoorsman as my mother was a city woman. But she begrudgingly spent time with him once a month when she was alive doing something adventurous and outdoorsy with him since I was a baby. When I asked why she went even though I knew she hated it as much as I did, she said he loved it and she loved him so once a month was nothing compared to what he had given her over the years. I on the other hand genuinely hated the outdoors, but I knew I had to give him this, even if it killed me. The plan was to go camping and visit places like the Grand Canyon and The Bright Angel Trail.

I must admit it was amazing and peaceful at the same time, but all too soon he was driving me to the airport for my flight.

Standing at the airport I clung to my dad as if it was the last time I may ever get to see him. He stayed for me, but I knew he longed to be with her again. I was scared that if I got on the plane the promise he made her might not be enough. There was a possibility I could become an orphan. I had taken care of him as much as he had taken care of me.

"Thanks, dad", I said with a teary smile, if this was the last time I might see him I wanted him to know what he meant to me,

"What for ", he asked watching me with a questioning frown.

"For keeping your promise to mom, the best you could even though I know it was hard being without her. It's okay if you want to be with her now. I understand". I said as I touch his cheek wiping the tear that was spilling from one eye.

"Adeline, I never would have left you, even if your mom hadn't made me promise to watch out for you". He said with a smile that sparked life back into his eyes and for a tiny moment, I felt hope.

"I know it hasn't been easy for you worrying about your old man", we both laugh at his old man joke, we both know he looked no older than thirty-five.

"But I don't want you to worry when you are at Harvard, live a little, go to parties, date boys and make your mom and me proud as always, cause I will be here when and if you are ready to come home, for me to keep those promises I made to your mom. I am going to be okay kiddo".

I hug him with all my love, this was the best present I ever got, hope. My dad was going to be okay and I could finally breathe, I could go to college and concentrate and not die a slow death wondering if I would get that phone call I have dreaded for the last four years.

"I love you, dad, so much, take care of yourself okay".

"I love you too baby girl, I wish your mom was here to see what a beautiful person you have become". He said as he looked at me one more time before I heard the speaker called for my flight to board.

"You should go and be great Ade".

One last hug and I was racing to the terminal luggage in hand I looked back and wave at my dad as I left him to follow my dreams.

August 05, 2020 18:46

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Kristin Neubauer
12:21 Aug 13, 2020

What a sweet and heartfelt story. The love and pain between the daughter and her father and their departed mother/wife is so strong, so real. I am relieved it had a happy ending and I like to think of her and her father both living fulfilling lives, even though separated. Looking forward to reading more of your work!


Rena Holdip
20:35 Aug 17, 2020

thank you so much, really love the feedback


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