On November 20 2006, my brother called me at work and simply told me to make my way to my dad’s as soon as I could. I left immediately and I knew the reason why I was going. I’d dreaded this day for a year and a half. I’d thought about it a million times but nothing can prepare you for it.
I walked into my dad’s house and was greeted by a hug from my brother Trey. I walked into the living room and turned to see my best friend, my number one fan, my father, my dad, laying on his hospital bed in front of the TV. He had passed a few hours earlier.
I can’t explain the feeling of losing half your childhood and then staring it in the face knowing it will never stare back. I was angry, sad, disappointed, disgusted, lost, and helpless all rolled into a fresh 24 year old recent college grad.
Fast forward three years. November 20 2009. L and I go to visit my dad at Arlington National Cemetery where he is buried.
“There he is“, I say. L just stops and looks at his headstone. She had seen it dozens of times in pictures, but this time was different. I smiled and kneeled in front of his headstone. I turned to look at L and both cheeks were covered in tears. I had come to see my dad a few times since his passing and I had never cried. Not even the day he was buried.
When I looked at L and saw her tears, I knew exactly why she was crying. Her love and support triggered the flow of my own tears. L was born on November 20. This wasn’t just the memorial of my dad’s passing, the date now held a new meaning. I get to celebrate my new best friend, and my new number one fan.
“I feel like I know him,” she sniffled. “I do know him. He is a part of you.”
There was something magical about that trip to Arlington. A lot of pieces fell into place that day. A lot of fears disappeared. I can’t describe it. It was just a feeling. I suddenly wasn’t shy about how I felt about someone. For once, there was no hesitation in letting someone love me.
I think people in relationships always wonder when they will know that the person is the one but it is different for everyone. Some of us have love at first sight. Some of us have a revelation in the middle of the night. Some of us fall gradually in love. Some of us simply stop denying that we’ve been in love forever.
My plan was set in motion on November 20 2006….
On L’s 27th birthday, exactly three years later, I realized she was the plan.