RUNNING LATE on LOVE, better late than never

I have been running late all of my life, even though I am prompt to most of my commitments or appointments. My boyfriend Wilson and I have a routine of him emailing me before he goes to bed near 10pm, and me responding in the morning before I go to work. It is a comfort like being read a bedtime story, knowing he is okay and he still loves me. He lives in Connecticut and me in NY, and we like this form of communication instead of daily phone calls or texts as we have spent most weekends together since we met nearly three months ago. This past week he missed two evening emails, so I call him to see if he is okay; (and to help myself feel okay) in his prompt return phone call he tells me that it has been “too hectic” or he is “too tired” to remember if he has emailed me. I am aware that the “baby girl” (an endearment he calls me and that I love) inside me is being triggered into how I was afraid of losing the loving closeness between me and my dad after I learned in an angry fight with my mother that he is not my biological father when I was 16. In my twenties I asked my mother about the whereabouts of my biological dad and met him twice, he choosing his wife over contact with me. In my thirties I ran 36 marathons in 36 months, a national woman’s record in the USA. When I would hit “the notorious wall” at mile 20 of the 26.2 miles I would invariably ask myself, “Why are you doing this Diane? This is crazy,” and most times I would walk much of those last 6 miles. The invariable answer in my head would be, “for the recognition.” It was not until my forties that I took the time to reread the 100 or so letters my dad sent to me while in college and newly married, my most valuable possession to this day, other than photographs of my family. In one of those letters he asks why I have not been demonstrative as he has a need for affection, as we all do. It is with tears at this moment that I filter out some of the pain, grief of not remembering how I answered his letter, and knowing that neither of us were brave enough to talk to each other about this. In my fifties, “too late” in life, I become aware of how very sad I am that our fears are reflected in the glass door between dad and I that never had the chance to be opened as he died suddenly of a heart attack at the young age of 60 when I was 31. This week I read in the book Wild Comfort: “Almost all the happy moments take place in a pause, a slowing down from job and routine:…in my notes, there’s an odd relationship between happiness and sadness, which makes me wonder whether these are opposing emotions after all, or if the opposite of happiness might be something else – meaninglessness, maybe or emptiness.” I find that I love my dad (and mySELF) more every time my tears flow. Today in my sixties, I am rereading the last paragraph of dad’s letter dated 4/4/67: “It is a beautiful day. Use your eyes to see what He has given us and be thankful. Whatever I may do, whatever I may be, I sure do love you to the extent of my capabilities.” As dad’s words create tears, I ask myself: Am I running late on tears? for fears? Yet, I know in my heart of hearts that daddy, you get first prize for loving me the best. So far. Later. In my next life I will race to tell you face-to-face: I love you.