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My Dad, Pulse and So Much More

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I have felt heaviness today. Admittedly, I did not sleep well last night after taking a dose of Dramamine. I could feel the wooziness of vertigo sitting menacingly on the sidelines. I set my clock so we could walk this morning. I knew when the clock went off I did not get the medication out of my system. But there are other reasons for the heavy feelings.

June 12, 1992, I arrived at work at about 7:30 am. I was anxious to get the next week’s work tidied up because then I was off on a trip from Maine to Virginia to see my Dad for Father’s Day. My work phone rang and I picked it up. It was my step-brother’s wife. She told me my father had passed away in his sleep. I was so angry and hurt. I packed up my things, told my boss I was leaving and I did not know when I would be back. The hours and days that followed were painful. I could scarcely breathe. My marriage was already falling apart and all I wanted in the world was a hug from my Dad. It was not meant to be. Perhaps another time, another day, I will write about those next few weeks, but not today. Today, I just want to remember my Dad.

On June 12, 2016, we would slowly hear and understand the horror of the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL. It is still hard to believe. 49 innocent people lost their lives that day — all due to hate and intolerance. I will not give space here to talk about the person who committed such a horrible crime, but I will give space to those who lost their lives.

The outpouring of love from the Orlando community was breathtaking. The loss was palpable. As the mother, aunt, and friend of so many people in the LGBTQ community I will always stand for equal rights for those people who our government and much of our society would deny. The sadness still washes over me like liquid fire. It was so senseless.

Add to that the dire situation with the pandemic and the racial inequality and protests going on in our country and across the world, it is sometimes more than I can shoulder.

Today, my thoughts center around loss, of course, but more about love. The kind of love we want for every person we hold dear should be the kind of love we show everyone.

I miss you, Daddy. SO VERY MUCH.