To continue to the story of reconnecting with my dad.........
After our first phone conversation of nearly 3 hours. We talked daily. My dad has a southern twang. It just sometimes makes me smile hearing him talk. I don't remember who mentioned meeting one another first. I believe it was him. I think it went something like this....... hun, if you told me you wanted to see me, I'd hang up this phone and pack my bags right now. I can tell you the first time I heard him say that, I smiled but yet my stomach was in knots. I mean, I reached out with the letter, but now what should I do about actually seeing him?
That night, Todd and I talked about what to do and we decided we should consider meeting him half way. My dad now lives in Arkansas and with us in Iowa, half way is Columbia, Missouri. Thanksgiving was coming and Todd had the time from work. The kids were busy, so Todd & I decided that could certainly work out. Then my back decided to change the course of events. After a few days of literally being in bed and unable to move without extreme pain, Todd said I'm not putting you in a car. I had no argument as when we travel by car & sleep in beds that aren't our own, I'm always a hot mess upon our return home.
Still continuing our daily conversations and knowing my physical state, I asked my dad if he wanted to travel to Iowa. He wasn't doing anything for Thanksgiving either, so we determined it would be a good time for all of to meet. I actually think it made him very happy that I even asked. I gave them hotel names and numbers and my dad arrived the evening Wednesday, November 27th - what would have been my mother's birthday.
November 27th was such a weird emotional day for me. We had our Thanksgiving meal that day with our daughter due to her work schedule. However, I was really distracted by the event that was to unfold. How ironic it was that it was my mother's birthday. After all, even in her death, she ultimately was the reason we were reconnecting. We arrived back in town from visiting with our daughter and my anticipation was growing. Then I got the call they were in town & almost to their hotel.
I'd lie if I said I wasn't excited, scared, nervous, and just not really sure of what the heck I gotten myself into! However, walking down the hall of the hotel and seeing my dad walking toward me, it was all I could do not to run. I can't explain or describe the hug, the tears, or the sense reunion. I can't even begin to describe the emotions and feeling of having my dad hug me for the first time in 40 years.
That night, we sat at the hotel talking until 2:30 a.m.