(Companion to previous post ‘Art’)
My dad recently remarried and I had made a trip to Houston to spend quality time before my big move to New York.
I took him and his new wife to my favorite Japanese restaurant in the museum district, hoping that they would go to the museum with me after and I could relive that memory from my early years.
I was so excited and nervous.
My dad hates trying new things and stepping outside of his comfort zone, so udon was a huge leap.
We talked about his new life, my new life and my travel schedule. Lunch was winding down and I finally mustered the courage to ask “Do you want to go to the museum with me? It’s right down the road.”
My dad politely refused, saying he needed to get back home. But that wasn’t what hurt me. It was when he said “I think I took Amanda there one time, we really enjoyed it.”
My favorite memory of my father, and he didn’t remember me being there. I was crushed.
I went to the museum by myself and cried.
That’s what benches in museums are for. Overwhelming emotion.
I then decided to head to an oldie, but a goodie- Brasil.
I cried over my soy latte and kale salad, and didn’t care who saw.
I pulled out my journal and I wrote. (and yes, I am about to reference myself)
“January 16, 2016
I faced a lot of demons today. And I realized that I never did say goodbye to Houston. I ran away to Dallas and pushed down the crappy relationship with my parents. I pushed out the sad and broken relationships with Joel and Doug. I pushed out the Amy that needed to heal.
The MFAH is a powerful place for me. It feels like home, in a sad way.
One of the few nice memories of my father was him taking me to this museum on a date, just us.
I stopped at the Corn Poppy and couldn’t stop staring. I was her and she was me.
That painting still haunts my dreams and artwork. It is a powerful symbol of myself. And a monument of peace and hope in my life.
It was much smaller than I remembered.
Today I invited my dad and his new wife to lunch in the Museum District, hoping he would come with me to the museum. He didn’t. And he also didn’t remember our date. It wasn’t important to him.
I hadn’t realized how much hope I still carried for my dad to really see me.
I can accept that I love him. I can accept that I cannot change the past. And I can accept the responsibility of pursuing a real relationship with him now.
I’m sitting in Cafe Brasil, crying and drinking my coffee. Even this place is nostalgic.
I’ve been here on dates with Doug, Joel, Sergio and Nghia.
It’s still here. It also didn’t miss me.
Moving to New York is the right thing for me. I just don’t want to run anymore. I want to make conscious decisions and heal my broken heart.
No more distractions, I am sitting in my truths.
I was a little girl, ignored and pushed aside.
I was a naive preteen, with no one to protect her.
I was a frustrated teenager, with no one to listen.
I was a lonely wife, too scared to speak up and live.
I put you first. I care for your mind, body and soul. You are my priority. You can have everything. I hear you. I see you. I am proud of you. I believe in you. I love you.”