Almost a year ago, I wrote about a girl dipping her bonnet and bidding goodbye to summer, faced with the death of fall. When I wrote this, I had no idea that girl was me.
The past twelve months, that hat of mine has morphed a thousand times. It has changed with the seasons, but it's also changed with the holidays, the simplicity of days; minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. It sounds so rehearsed-until it's you and your life. Suddenly, the clichés are true.
But, what I didn't understand was the way those I love would impress upon me that they were okay. Before my dad's passing, my dreams consisted of strange images, unreal circumstances, and folk-lore. Now, they consist of truth, absoluteness, and reality.
When I'm lucky, my dreams are ones of: sitting at a table with him, driving shotgun in a tractor, looking at sunsets, calling him on the phone, and hugging him. They are intensely real. For those who doubt this, I would recommend opening up your heart, your soul, and welcoming the messages of healing and love.
I am an ordinary girl with an extraordinary father. A girl who lost her hat of fatherhood too soon. I am just a girl who grieves; who misses her daddy terribly, but one who finds meaning in the signs he sends. Just a girl who loves more deeply than she ever could have before, and a girl who is thankful for this.
So, I say to the girl who tipped her bonnet and bid farewell; that was not the end. It may have been the "end" of our relationship on earth, but it's not then end of us. We carry on...him there, and us here.
Someday, our paths will meet again, and I envision my father picking up the bonnet of pain, tossing it aside, and choosing our own hat, tipping it deeply, smiling, holding hands, and waiting for the next link of our chain to make us whole.