“He’s going to die!”

I was 22 years old and had just gotten my heart broken by my first boyfriend of four years. My parents had taken to blowing up my phone because I was MIA for three days. I usually talked to them every day but couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone. My dad left a voice mail threatening to come up to Austin if I didn’t call him back. Not wanting to deal with hovering parents while I grieved, I reluctantly called them back.

Dad:
Baby?

Me:
(In between cries and hiccups) Hi. Daddy. We. Broke. Up.

Dad:
Is he crying right now?

Me:
No.

Dad:
Is he crying to his daddy?

Me:
No.

Dad:
Don’t you cry to your daddy.

Me:
Fine but you called me first!

That was our conversation in totality. Note how he didn’t even ask the whys and whens of the split. He didn’t need to know. It was enough that we were over. It was enough that I was crying and my ex was not.

The next day he called to apologize. He told me he was sorry to be so rough with me the day before but he just wanted me to see this break-up as practice. I remember being so perplexed on what he could possibly mean by “practice.”

“You know, when you meet that someone who is perfect for you and get married and have kids and live your life, what do you think will happen?”

I remember being afraid to let him finish this thought but I braced for it anyway.

“He’s going to die!”

My dad had tried to make me feel better about my first break-up by likening it to practice for when my future spouse dies. It’s so awful that the memory of this still makes me laugh 5 years later and this story still gets requested by my friends at gatherings.

Brutality aside, I think I get what he was trying to tell me. We are on borrowed time. Nothing and no one is really ours. Everything and everyone gets given back. A break-up is just one way things get taken from us and at the time, my break-up was just a small introduction to the greater losses life will bring me. No wonder I’m so scared of losing my loved ones. I can’t imagine how unbearable the pain will be when the losses become bigger.

  • Aw Chi Linda!! That’s so funny and sad at the same time. Your dad is a wise man.

    At first when I read this, I thought you said said “he’s going to die” for hurting you LOL. That’s something my dad would say!

    But I feel the same way you do. My #1 fear is losing the ones I love =(

    • Linda

      Ms. Julie,
      Aww. Haha, that would be the typical dad thing to say right? “Where is he?!?! I’m going to kill him!” Dad is not homicidal about emotional scarring. Protective but not homicidal.
      Thanks for the comment, lovely!
      – Linda

  • Omg oops. I meant to type “I thought your dd said ‘he’s going to die’ for hurting you”

  • After reading this, I sort of wish your dad was my dad now. Because, that’s hillarious.

    • Linda

      Tristachio,
      I find it hilarious now but I think at the time i was stunned at the insensitivity. Haha :)
      Hello and thanks for commenting!
      – Linda

  • Dad:
    Is he crying right now?
    Me:
    No.
    Dad:
    Is he crying to his daddy?
    Me:
    No.

    Lolz, that is some classic shit right there!

    That thought process actually does make me feel a bit better about break-ups – the fact that ultimately, there is no other for for it to have gone. Mortality negates eternal love! Every single relationship ends! Somehow this truth sets one free a bit, I think.

    • Linda

      Mogg,
      It’s very Stoic and Buddhist isn’t it? Both philosophies preach that to avoid pain you have to avoid attachment. And this includes relationships!

      Still. Very robotic and hard to live.
      – Linda

  • Your Dad sounds a lot like my Dad. No wonder why I’m not a crier to this day- my Dad had no patience for tears. It may seem a little harsh but it does make you stronger.

    • Linda

      Shelley,
      I’m still a crier but I guess not to him for one and not so often for two. ha :)
      – Linda

  • mef

    I love your dad. A lot. I think Imma have to go back through our chats to find more Dad stories.

  • Linda

    Mef,
    Yeah I think we have a lot of dad fodder, I just can’t seem to bring them to mind. I love that you love my dad. He loves you too!
    – Linda

  • Bahaha…I’m laughing so hard at your dad’s comments about your break-up. LOL. I imagine it wasn’t quite so funny then, but it’s great that you found something to take from that experience. Losing the ones I love is something I fear for every single day.

  • Linda

    Stephany,
    Haha, I shared the story, hoping people will find the humor in it. Glad to see you did.
    – Linda

  • What a hilarious, sweet & sad story all in one. No wonder your friends request it.

    • Linda

      Danielle,
      Thanks dear!
      – Linda

  • still one of my favorites stories about your dad! :)

  • naz

    i remember this story! i love your dad! he gives “fortune cookie” advice where you have to think and find meaning for yourself…love it!

  • linda

    Cindy,
    I thought of you when I wrote this!
    – Linda

    Naz,
    Yes. Haha. He has a fortune cookie with a weird twist feel to him.
    – Linda