Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I don't write about my family a whole lot. I am notorious for not being able to discuss the things that affect me the most. I love my family very much but it's very difficult for me to talk about them, even if I'm saying good things. I'm going to dedicate this entry to my dad.
This is the longest I've gone without seeing my Dad probably my entire life. Growing up, I remember my Dad getting me ready for school (mom worked full-time at a hospital, and dad did too). I remember him making me hot dogs with melted American cheese and tons of ketchup, and watching the Flintstones together before I went down for my afternoon nap. Despite all this, I always felt that my dad and sister were closer, and it bothered me. But it was always that way- I've always been my momma's girl and Roxane's always been daddy's- its not that we favor them or they favor us...It's odd to explain but- my sister and my mom have some similar traits (sorry, Roxane) and the only temper known to man to rival my father's is mine. Jersey Gina wasn't born yesterday, ya'll- she's 20.5 years in the making.
When I was 7 my dad moved to the US for a job opportunity. He stayed here for 9 months while my mom worked, sold our house, and took care of us girls as best she could. Momma was a trooper, and Roxane was the most responsible (albeit stressed) 12-year-old you ever could've met. I just felt sad, a lot of the time. I didn't want to move, I missed my daddy, and I just wanted him to come home and make me my damn hot dogs and braid my hair. He used to come home every 2 weeks to see us girls- drove 500 miles each way to spend the weekend with his girls. Sometimes, people don't understand why we're so close- because I know that my father loves us 3 girls more than anyone ever could.
In may of 1996 we moved to New Jersey. For the first month, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment with 2 dogs and just about all of our belongings. After tons of searching we found the perfect home. We lived there for almost 10 years, and given the opportunity, I'd move back there any day. But with a new house and a new car (because our old one broke down) Dad had to work some more. I don't remember seeing much of my dad after we moved to Jersey. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe my memory doesn't serve me right- but it's how I feel. By the time I reached middle school he spent most of his weeks out-of-town- Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, anywhere but home- you name it he was there. I missed him so much. I fought back tears every Monday on the school bus because that was the day I would see him get into his limo for work and leave until the end of the week. The next week would be more of the same. Times were hard but he always made sure Roxane and I didn't go without. We started working young, but he made sure we had everything else and all the opportunities other American kids had. When we had a problem with a teacher at school, he'd go in, dressed in a suit and tie and scare the crap out of them. I used to laugh in my teacher's faces in high school if they said they were calling home :"Go ahead, call home. My mother doesn't speak English and will probably hang up on you. And my Daddy's never home. If you do happen to reach him, he'll be mad that you wasted his time. It's your word against mine. You don't stand a chance." (Mhmm, I was a little Jersey Gina Snot Nose)
If I had known then that my dad's work was a blessing and not a curse, I would've appreciated it more. Around 2004/2005 my dad lost his job for real- there would be no more Visa's no more limousines, none of that. It took him awhile to accept it, but eventually my parents came to a conclusion: They would sell the house, but remain in the United States.Now, let me be clear: my parents are angels. They could have easily tore me out of my Junior year of high school and shipped the lot of us back to Canada, where the welfare and health care systems are "good". They could've easily put their feet up and called it quits- but they didn't. They stayed here for Roxane and I, and I think that's the major reason why we will never quit.
My dad started delivering pizza for a living. I was so ashamed, I prayed he wouldn't be the one to deliver to my high school football game, or to my work, or to one of my friend's houses. If I only knew then what I know now. I would never be ashamed or embarrassed of what my dad does for a living (unless he was a gigolo or something) today, because in this economy you do what you have to to survive! Blame it on being young and snotty- but we went from having a Jaguar to having a big white commercial van- I was in shock!
Today, I can appreciate what my father does for my family. I can appreciate the 60-70 hours a week he puts in when he's working, that the bills are paid on time, that he lives paycheck-to-paycheck to put a roof over our heads. I can appreciate the food in the fridge, and the hot water in the morning.
I miss him so much right now, and hopefully Daddy will be home later this week. Recently, my dad's driver's license expired, and without the proper paperwork, he couldn't renew it. So he drove with it anyway. Drove me to work, to school, anywhere I needed to go. He got pulled over once, got a ticket. Twice, got a ticket, and the third time was asked to show up in court. In court, they basically tore him a new one and told him to get his act together and provide a solution to the problem (yes he told them the truth). So my dad packed his bags and headed to the Great North in February and has been there since. I've never heard the man cry so much. He just wants to come home.
My dad is my best friend, my rock. Him not being here reminds me of how much I miss cuddling up to him, with the popcorn and watching a UFC fight. I miss him givin a me a big hug before I go to sleep and tellin me "I love you, oh believe me I love you...More than you could know." I miss him threatening to kill my ex boyfriend who stalks me, and callin all the losers I date jerkoffs. I miss him and his stories about growing up on a farm. I talk to him every day, but it's just not the same as seeing his face. I can't wait to see him.
True Story of a Daddy's Girl