The Well Magazine Spring 2013 - Page 14

Felicia Bennett and her father, Lavadus Coley, in the early ‘90s. These Three Words ife and death. Two defiant partners who chose to do a 24-hour contra dance on January 8 with the two most important men in my life. Never in a million years would I expect my father to pass on the exact same day my husband received a cancerous biopsy result. My emotions were thrust into a tailspin, running towards the Daddy's Little Girl who somehow lost grip of his hand (and her title) decades ago, while suiting up to be the steadfast partner to fight the battle of survival for my husband of nine months. On this life-changing day, the three most important words that I needed to say to both men were different, yet equally profound. My father's emotional absence was a subtle riff my entire life that only grew into a crescendo after he remarried. The emotional detachment grew with every passing milestone. I learned to love him from afar, and even when he left a trail of broken promises, I learned to step over them instead of scarring my soul. A debilitating stroke had me staring down at the shell of a man I once knew, void of all communication as he lay in his deathbed, drawing his last breath. A peaceful sight that erased all other memories. It was at this moment, beneath that heaving chest I knew there was the heart of a man who once called me his Baby Girl. I had to let him know that, on the dusk of a cold, January day and his transition, I was here. Bending down, I gently kissed his forehead and let him know what we both needed to hear. I forgive you. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 14 The Well Magazine/ Spring 2013 L By Felicia Bennett