I wish my dad was at my graduation today. I miss him. Oh God, how I needed him. It’s seriously all I’ve ever wanted since he wasn’t able to attend my 6th grade or high school graduation. It’s what I looked forward to the most about him getting out of jail after 10 years. I’d be lying if I said he was not the reason I took so long to complete my college education. Heck, I was so freaking glad my graduation wouldn’t happen until he was out. I wanted to wait for him. I wanted him to be there. I needed him. But instead of him filling up that seat next to my mom and brothers, all I had of him was an apology text and one missed call from him. The first I received in the bathroom, when I was checking up on my makeup and hair, making sure my cap wouldn’t fall off with a tip of my head.
“Ola mi amor perdón por llamarte antes que pases una muy bonita graduación te juró qué me duele no estar con tigo en tu graduación”
‘Hello my love, I am sorry for calling you before you have a beautiful graduation. I swear it hurts that I can’t be there with you at your graduation.’
Instantly I felt my eyes well up with tears, a knot in my throat. My friend comes out of the stall and I push it all back, focusing instead on the ceremony and the fact that my family wasn’t there yet. Seriously, again? We rush back to our art friends just as the line starts pushing out the door. My father is pushed out of my mind as the graduation goes on. I’m too busy trying to keep up with my friend’s jokes and our Dean’s sass.
Towards the end of the graduation I remember I have not wished my father a happy father’s day, despite Every. Damn. Speaker. Mentioning their father and wishing them a happy father’a day. I send him greetings and think nothing of it as I stand to move my tassel from the right to the left side of the cap as a symbol of our passing into graduate-hood. We walk out. All along the sides there are people crowding around to take pictures of the graduates. Again, I do not see my mother’s face. I shake off my disappointment and make plans to meet up with my friends at the art building after I dash away to find my family. Again, I do not find them. I look down at my phone to call them only to see I’ve missed a call from my dad. I rush to call back but, what would I say? The emotion now hits harder than before and I click ‘end.’ The knot is tighter, the tears fill my vision and I know I cannot show everyone this side. Today was supposed to be emotional for other reasons, not for the pain that’s been granted me since I was 12.
Instead I have father’s day making a mockery of me as again I have to spend another year without my dad. Only this time, it was something bigger. It was that much more important. And now I’m just left to wonder, how much more will he miss out on? How much more will I miss out on? That ticket that went to my aunt, the one that always goes to my aunt, should have been his. I don’t know what to do. It’s 3am and all I’m doing is crying the stupid makeup off. I hate this, I really do. No matter what I do or what happens, this will never change. I will never have my dad as I want him. He is still only pictures and short phone calls and once a year visits. He’s out of prison but we aren’t out of the system. Happy Father’s Day indeed.