I think that most kids want to think one day, when they get married, buy their first (or second or third) home, have kids, and go through other various stages of their adult life that they hope and envision their parents will be there for them. They may be separated by distance, but the general dream I think we all have is that they will be alive and well and here to be happy and proud of us. This is how I’ve always imagined things happening and what I do genuinely want.
The scary thing, though, is that we can’t always control for everything that happens in life. So in the back of my own mind, I always feel a little scared every now and then that by the time I can do any of these things that it may be too late. And sadly, I’ve thought about it a lot more since Ed left us last summer. My dad and I were having a pretty frank discussion tonight about planning for the future, and I was trying to explain to him that I am grateful for his and my mom’s support throughout my childhood, for paying for my college education, for continuing to provide for me in different ways even since I started working, but I definitely do not want him skimping out on his own life and enjoyment now, thinking that he needs to provide for me when the day comes when he may no longer be here. “Well, Yvonne, remember, you can use that money towards a down payment on a house.” He reminded me how expensive it is to buy a house now in a major metropolitan area, and how much more expensive it is than when he was my age. DAD! I scolded him. “I’m not depending on your leaving this world for me to do that! And by the way, you’re not going anywhere. You are going to be here when I pay for my own down payment with my own money and buy a house, so don’t talk like that!”
I could immediately feel my eyes water a bit when I said this. My dad always feels like he has to provide for all of us forever until we die; he felt this way about Ed, too, without ever telling him. I told Ed, though. I could tell Ed felt some guilt when he heard this. I guess that’s just my dad’s masculine side coming out – his need to be a provider. He hasn’t always been the best with words, but in actions, that’s how he shows his love.