Jewish Journal

Papa can you hear me?

by Ilana Angel

September 2, 2009 | 10:53 am

I think about my father, of blessed memory, every day.  He is in my thoughts and my prayers and I find myself quoting him and smiling at memories.  There are days when I don’t even remember that he has passed away.  Several weeks ago I actually called his cell phone and then called my sister asking why it was disconnected.  It’s never easy to lose someone you love and there is something about losing a parent that makes you reevaluate your own life.  My dad, Robert Angel, was 63 when he passed away.  That is only 20 years older than I am now.

My father was disappointed when I got divorced.  Not disappointed that I was leaving my husband, he was actually pleased about that, he was upset that my dream of living happily ever after was ending.  It’s unfortunate that he could not see me now because even though I am not married, and that was always my dream, I am in fact happier than I’ve ever been.

I always wonder if my father would approve of the men I’m dating.  Even now at 43, I still crave his opinion.  There has been a boyfriend that I think he really would have thought was fabulous and a couple that would have inspired him to roll his eyes and say in his English accent, “Ilana have you lost your mind.  I forbid you to see that bloody idiot again.”  He said it when I was a teenager and he said it when I was an adult.  He always had an opinion about who his three daughters dated but for some reason he was a lot more vocal about the subject with me than he was with my sisters.

Yesterday I was talking on the phone with a man I once dated and he said something that made me feel like I was talking to my dad.  They were words dad would have said and it caught me off guard for a second.  I also spoke to a new potential suitor and he too said something that was so reminiscent of my dad that I made him repeat it because it was exactly what my father had said so many times.  I felt like my dad was somehow here for a couple of brief moments and I wanted the world to stop so I could suck it all in before it was over. 

I find myself seeing aspects of my dad in all the men I date. It’s so nice when I get a glimpse of him.  It’s quite corny but when those moments come it’s as though he’s here telling me it’s ok and that I’m doing fine.  Not only am I going to watch for the signs that show me know my dad is giving me his approval, but I’m going to pay closer attention when he tries to tell me I’m dating an idiot.

He will always be my dad and I will always love him and even though he is gone, he is in my heart and even if all the signs are in my head and not true at all, I don’t care.  I like them.  They give me peace and comfort and are proof that he will always be close if I keep the faith.

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