30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99

Dad Looking Back at Me

by Tanya Ward Goodman June 05, 2012

By: Tanya Ward Goodman

I was at the eye doctor recently and my ophthalmologist asked me if my father was still alive. I was sitting in the dark, my chin on a cold metal shelf, staring wide as she aimed a bright light into my eye.

“He died,” I said.

I wondered if tears would cloud her search for cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. I wondered if she could tell I was going to cry before the tear actually dripped down my cheek.

“I lost my dad five years ago,” she said. “It’s hard to lose a dad.”

I explained that it’s been ten years, but it still feels fresh.

“Girls and their fathers,” she said. She’s got such a calm air about her. I like her low voice and her grey braids. I like the way she talks about my eyes as though they are good shoes – well made, but aging. She’s the kind of person I could tell my secrets to.

On the computer screen, she shows me the inside of my eye. She traces blood vessels and the clean line that means there is no degeneration. The image on the screen does not look like an eye. It looks like the surface of the moon – grey and pebbled. Another view looks like a road driven at night, bright spots illuminated by headlights for only an instant.

My eyes were washed clean with tears when my father died. My eyes get a regular bath when my children do well in school, when I read a poem, when I hear a sad story on the radio. I cry easily. It cannot be helped.

My dad’s eyes were the same color as mine. They squint at the sun the way his did and seep tears when I laugh hard. My dad looked at the world and saw beauty in everything. He saw possibility for art in the lowliest of objects. When I looked into his eyes, I saw love reflected back.

It’s June and the newspaper advertisements shout about Father’s Day. I will celebrate my husband on this day for he is a wonderful father and deserves more than just one day of parades and pancakes. Today, on a day that is not labeled “Father’s Day,” I will think of my dad and I will send him love. I will look in the mirror and imagine I can see him looking back through my eyes.

The post Dad Looking Back at Me appeared first on The Next Family.

Tanya Ward Goodman
Tanya Ward Goodman


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →