My daughter, Kari, left yesterday to begin her Spring semester at WVU. I was a mess. Every time she leaves it hurts… to the core. It scares the hell out of me too, after what happened to Ryan. I never again want to say goodbye to someone I love beyond measure and it be forever.
The second she walked out the door I broke down. I closed all the blinds and turned off the lights. It was my way of cutting off the outside world. Then, a few minutes later I hear the door open. I didn’t look up because I know it is Kari. Everything she does seems to be an adventure (one of the many things I love about her). This was no different. I quickly wiped my eyes and gathered myself together. Good. She didn’t catch me blubbering.
The first thing she says is, “Daddy, don’t be upset with me”. You know what immediately popped into my head? I thought she was about to tell me she backed into the new van Koons Automotive donated to Ryan. I was actually happy to hear that she simply locked the keys in the car. No big deal… so I thought.
I was wrong.
We simply couldn’t find the spare key, which by the way, I’m guessing she lost sometime in the past three years. After searching all the places it might be and trying to slip the door lock with a wire hanger there was no other option than give up. We have roadside/emergency service through a company like AAA, so I put in a service call. It was, actually, the first time I did this from an app on my phone and it worked well. The service was in our driveway just fifteen minutes later.
The story doesn’t end — or begin — here. Let me take you back to the evening of Christmas Eve when Kari gave me my gift. It was a writing tablet that uses a magnetic pen/stylus. It’s like an adult version of the Magna-Doodle. She got this for me because I was the object of playful ridicule from my wife for jotting my personal reminders/thoughts/inspirations (i.e., nothing EVER related to the lawsuit I filed against Austin Vantrease, Jonathan May, and the other) on small pieces from bulk paper towels then tossing them into the trash. I suppose she does have a point. I’ll give her that, but in my defense, money is always a concern and I found this cost effective. At the risk of further ridicule, here is a real example:
I immediately fell in love with the gift. I love anything my daughter gives me — the macaroni necklace that she made when young and insisted I wear to work (and did… all day) not excluded — because she cares about me. It’s a plus when it has practical value.
Before I continue with today’s story, just one comment on the Necklace Episode. I was initially hesitant to wear into work because I thought it would be unprofessional, and I suppose it was. Turns out, the co-workers thought it was wonderful. Especially the women; they loved that I would do this for my daughter. I was a hit! You see, even a four-year old daughter can know what’s right for her dad. By mid-morning I was making it a point to parade around the office for one reason or another. I had that necklace on display! It was no longer under my tie. It replaced my tie! I even wore it, minus my tie, into a high-powered meeting with a client (who loved it too)!
Never under-estimate the power of pasta!
Okay, now I can fast-forward and bring you to this morning. I opened the notepad to write something down, that I now can’t remember. I was thrown for a loop. In a good way. The photo I’m about to show you (below) speaks for itself. The pain of her leaving yesterday resurfaced in a big way. There’s nothing that I can really write here that can communicate my emotion so I’ll leave with just one comment.
Kari, I’m not upset with you. I miss you.