express ruffled jumpsuit and kipling backpack
Outfits, Style

Ruffled Jumpsuit

express ruffled jumpsuit and kipling backpack
express ruffled jumpsuit and kipling backpack
express ruffled jumpsuit and kipling backpack    express ruffled jumpsuit express ruffled jumpsuit

photos by my cousin Claudia (photographer in Nashville)

Outfit Details:

Express Ruffled Jumpsuit

And Other Stories ruffle sleeve stripe top

Sam Edelman red slingback “Lorene” block heels (available in several colors + free Prime shipping!)

Kipling backpack (on sale!)

Kat Von D “Outlaw” Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Unique Vintage sunglasses ($18)

 

I spent last week in Nashville with family and friends, and it couldn’t have been better timing. I brought my mom with me, which was so nice because it’s pretty rare that she gets any sort of vacation. We stayed with my aunt and uncle, got to spend time with all of my cousins and their kids, visited with another aunt who was in town from Oregon, watched the solar eclipse with my friends, and the best part: quality time with my Obaachan (my dad’s mom).

I used to get a lot more personal around here, so some of you already know this, but I didn’t grow up with my father. The last time I saw him was at my 7th birthday party, when he knocked on the door and gave me a necklace that said “Someone Special” and turned right back around and left with a woman I had never met. In my memory, he didn’t even say anything — but that might just be my revisionist mind. It took me by surprise because I hadn’t seen him (save for a few not so great moments) since I was 3 or 4. I remember everything, even though I was so young — I remember the very bad. But I also remember the good. I remember him being my dad.

Seeing my uncle (my dad’s brother) is always a little emotional for me. He is an amazing father and husband — everything my dad could have been, if drugs were not an issue —  and he’s a wonderful uncle. I can’t help but wonder what things could be like if I had a dad like him. It’s embarrassing to admit that even at 32, I still get teary eyed when I talk about my dad, and sometimes it’s full on buckets and hiccups. In public I’m fine, I’m a well-adjusted adult, I am the person I am because of everything in my past. But at night when my mind is racing and my heart is trying to keep up, I miss him. I wish he would’ve been there to protect me and my sisters. And my mom, because she deserved the husband that he could have been.

I wish things were different, and I feel selfish for that. I feel silly. Because I’m okay, and not having a dad around is not that big of a deal.

My dad’s family lived in different states for most of my life (and some in the panhandle, which may as well be a different state from South Florida), so I didn’t get to see them as much as I would’ve liked. I didn’t see my Obaachan and Pop Pop as much as my cousins got to, and when Pop Pop died, I hadn’t seen him in years. I didn’t want that to happen again. Now that I’m an adult and have the flexibility to travel, I make it a priority to stay in touch and see my family as much as possible. I’m very lucky, and it’s so nice that my mom and my dad’s family still share so much love for one another. I have no cousins on my mom’s side, and tons on my dad’s. And they’re pretty great. In fact, my cousin Claudia took these photos, and she’s truly one of the best people I know. And my little Obaachan — I am her granddaughter and namesake, and that’s a pretty special bond. We were washing dishes together just days ago and she said, “I can’t believe I’m washing dishes with Keiko-san. Dreams do come true!” Any time spent together is time well spent.

I’m grateful for these last few weeks with all of my family, both maternal and paternal. I needed it, and I know my mom did, too.

Even without my dad, we still have his family — and that’s enough.

p.s. What in the heck happened…this was supposed to be about my new jumpsuit. Don’t let me get so sentimental!!

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13 comments

  1. Keiko, I completely understand your feelings towards your father. My own dad has Narsaasitic Personality Disorder, and it has taken me years to love who he is and grieve the ‘what could have been’. I am still jealous of the kids who had never had to deal with the hurtful words or the long periods of no contact. Through eight years of therapy, I have come to live life with this ghost of him, hovering around my word but not really in it. And yeah, wanting a dad is something I think I will always deal with, but it helps to know that I’m not alone. I really appreciate you being open and honest about your past because it shows me (and others) that although my dad’s absence has affected me, it does not define who I have or will become. You show that there are families like mine, who are made with unconditional love and support, even if we aren’t the traditional nuclear family. Thank you for your honesty and openness; you really do help more people than you know.

  2. Thank you for sharing this and for opening your life and heart to so many people. I’m the child of an addict, too, though, my father is still in my life. Growing up with that and dealing with that as an adult is extremely difficult and sometimes really lonely, even when you have siblings to share your experience. I’m sending you all of the love in the world.