Mayfield: My Dad was shot and our relationship changed forever

Jun 16, 2023, 7:32 AM | Updated: 12:19 pm

dad shot relationship...

Father Shailesh throws up his son, Harish, at a park in Amritsar on June 19, 2016, on Father's Day, a day observed in many countries to celebrate fathers and fatherhood. (Photo credit NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo credit NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)

It was the middle of the night, and I woke with the sound of someone coming through our front door.

Then I heard a voice whisper, “Travy.” It was my sister. Why was she here? She lives in Bellingham.

More from Travis Mayfield: Long, lazy summer days let me appreciate all the joy

“Dad was shot.”

And suddenly, I was awake. The next few hours are a blur of racing to the hospital. Sitting with my sobbing mom. Waiting for news, any news, as doctors operated on my police officer father, who had been shot in the line of duty.

Miraculously Dad is okay. The bullets somehow missed all the truly vital parts of his body.

He recovered, retired, and lives a full life with my mom, his kids, and his grandkids.

But something did change that day, at least for me. My relationship with my Dad is no longer tumultuous. Every second I get to see him, hear him, or read the random nonsequitur GIFs and memes he adds to the family group text, those seconds are perfect.

Growing up, I was a mommy’s boy, and I didn’t always understand my Dad. As I grew up, he didn’t always understand me. That led to fights, feuds, and hurt feelings. We loved each other, but it was always a little complicated.

Then — in different ways — we both got a second chance, and we took it.

I think a lot about the ways I let my own ego create too much tumult when I was younger. Now that I have my own kids, I also better understand what it must have been like for my Dad. It’s impossible to be a perfect parent, you are tired, hungry, and stressed, and these little people are so like you and yet so different in confusing ways.

Yet what I also now better understand is that you love them more than they will ever know.

I know my Dad loves me like that, and I can honestly say that how I love him now too.

On this Father’s Day, look at your own family, those in your life by DNA or by choice, and think about ways you can more fully love them like that too.

Don’t wait for a second chance because they don’t always come.

I love you, Dad, more than you will ever know.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: My Dad was shot and our relationship changed forever