A Veteran

I wasn’t there as much as I should’ve been.  I was there more than anyone else.  I was there more than I thought I could’ve been.  I surprised myself.  But I wanted to be there even more.  He was proud, impressed.  No one ever loved him like I did.  And I feel damn proud knowing I gave that to him.  I was his security blanket.  His shoulder.  His best friend.  I wanted to be his daughter, but he needed more from me.  So I gave up having a dad and opened up to all of the other things he would become.  Whatever he needed.  I would become all that he needed so that at the end of his ride he could look back and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was loved.  He was someone’s hero.  He was perfect and exactly what someone wanted him to be.

I am my father’s daughter and because of that I knew at a young age what loneliness and isolation felt like.  And I knew it wasn’t my father’s fault that I suffered such a fate.  So I spent what little I had giving the only person walking the planet who would ever get me the one thing we both desperately longed for.  A witness.

I was there to hear his confessions.  And I was there to share his sins.  And on his last day, I was there to hold his hand, close his eyes, say a prayer and swear to never forget his story.

JTC

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