I discovered peace and forgiveness with my father when I wasn’t looking.
I see pictures of him walking me down the aisle.
He said he would crawl on his hands and knees if he had to
to bring me to you.
When I turned 30, he met Chris for the first time.
As he hugged me in the back of an NYC taxicab,
my dad said I was "in good hands" with Chris.
When we visited Iowa, they bonded more over cold Stella beer
& salt & vinegar potato chips watching sci-fi movies and Walker Texas Ranger.
He loved the song Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega.
I remember finding the cassette tape in our truck when I was 12.
As a little girl, he served me milk with my dinner.
He tickled my feet - not to make me laugh
but to help me drift off to sleep
He made me toasted English muffins with grape jelly and butter.
He ironed my jeans, silk tops on low heat, and nineties baby doll dresses.
He even colored my hair the kitchen sink, Salon Jack, at our home on Desert Eve Drive.
He always had a mustache. Oh, the sideburns!
Every morning he said, "Jen, time for school! Time to get up!"
He drove me and Jessica to marching band practice and picked us up.
Listening to Prince, Nirvana, and Boyz II Men, we danced beside him
the whole way home.
He taught me how to cast.
We went finishing together for silver bass at Elephant Butte.
He fixed his famous ground beef and refried bean tacos, and
on weekends - silver dollar pancakes for me
eggs and potatoes with salsa for my mom,
chile rellenos made with roasted hatch green peppers.
He helped me pass algebra and geometry and research
my paper on the Titanic.
He taught me how to drive stick shift in the abandoned track near my Sierra Elementary.
The night of the pajama jam dance in high school, before I had my license,
he let me drive us home. I spotted some cute guys as we cruised down White Sands Blvd.
He sunk down in the passenger seat so I could be cool and wave to them.
He accompanied me across country in my Geo Storm to my college internship in Craig, Co.
He moved my furniture into different apartments and houses in Las Cruces and Belen.
He told tales driving around Muscatine,
parked near the Mississippi River, and sitting on the blue velour couch.
Stories about his parents, his cat Maddie, coaching gymnastics and his knee injury.
He is helping me keep going and I know I will learn more from him.