It’s my first Christmas as an adult without my dad. Before now, the only Christmas I’d ever spent without him was the year he was in training to work for the FAA. I was 6 years old, and he sent presents home to my brother and me. I still have the Polaroid my mom took of us that Christmas, happily holding our gifts from him. (Mine was Boggle. I had that thing until a few years ago.)
Being without dad is, in a word, painful. Dad was the center of our Christmas celebrations and always loved handing out gifts to everyone else.
I refuse to be without my mom and brother, too, so I am embarking on a series of flights tonight that will take me to Raleigh by late morning tomorrow. Unfortunately, that means I’m making a series of connections, from tiny little Meadows Field in Bakersfield (6 whole gates!) to San Fran, then to Houston, then Raleigh.
Flying always makes me feel like a kid again, and dad loved planes. I’m pretty sure he’d hate this particular route, but I’m keeping my “I won’t grow up” attitude and trying to enjoy the flights tonight. Wish me luck!