Words Left Unsaid: Part Three

1999

I stood in a room, at the funeral home, in Idaho. I wasn’t sure what to say or how to act, in the presence of other people… the “real family”.  Alone, I went up to the body and gave him a hug. I laid my head on his chest and pretended that he was breathing. I looked at my biological father’s hands, that held me, when I was a baby, and tried to look past all of the stitches and makeup, covering up tragedy. I held one of those pieced-together hands, while I tried to tell him everything that I could, because I wanted my first and last conversation with my father to be meaningful. I took off my necklace and put it in the pocket of his shirt and told him not to forget me; it was all that a fourteen-year-old could do, to say good-bye. The silence of an unrequited “I love you” was deafening, as it tore the veil that separated my innocent childhood dreams of being someone’s princess, someday, from my new reality: the girl who met her father at his funeral.

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