I wrote the blog post below in 2009 as I struggled to find a new way to communicate with my father. Father’s Day was a struggle. I hadn’t quite learned how to let go of the past.
A year later we had a great Father’s Day, sitting around the house watching movies and eating junk food. Not only had we started over, I was able to look at our history and realize how much I'd been loved; even if it didn't always look like I wanted.
In his card, I told him I was glad we had a second chance.
He died a month later.
Think about giving your dad a call even if you might be in a space where you don't really feel like it. I know it's hard. I've been there. Situations can turn around, even when it seems like an impossibility.
I appreciate those of you have checked in with me this week and throughout this past year. I'm good. I don't have any regrets. It makes this weekend a little easier.
Happy Father’s Day.
June 23, 2009
it's taken a minute to write this.
father's day is always a problem.
that's not true.
it's a problem now.
i don't remember celebrating father's day when i was a kid.
i'm sure i made cards, or something, but for many years,
from basically the time i was 10 until last year, that day hasn't been a non-event.
then he had a heart attack.
next, i moved in.
then, here comes father's day.
i didn't know what to do.
i bought a shirt and handed it to him.
i didn't have to say anything.
it was just easier to buy something,
than to say something.
that was last year though.
father's day comes every year.
this year it was harder.
last year he missed my birthday, which was days before i moved in,
but i was used to that.
he never remembered.
this year, he missed my birthday again.
it wasn't a problem, until...
i was asked to go card shopping for my cousin's upcoming birthday.
he is aware that birthdays exist and he knows what most people do in celebration of them...
and he's doing so for my cousin.
maybe it is okay to hold him accountable for knowing the date of my birth.
i mean, in some ways that particular event ties directly into father's day.
but, i'm grown.
and i'm over it.
i'll say it dammit.
happy father's day.
it's just three little words.
i don't know how much longer we have and i've learned that life is fragile.
i needed bacon first.
i needed energy.
i went to the waffle house on the way to see him on father's day.
alone, i sat.
i was surrounded by families.
it touched me to see so many men with their kids.
i thought it was sweet.
but then it went a little too far.
the brother in the booth front of me, about 40 years old, put his arm around his son of about 13 and called him his "b.f.f.f.f."
maybe i am not over it.
i don't think i ever realized how much i missed by not having him present,
until that moment.
up until then it had all been about the financial discomfort.
i know he loves me.
i have pictures of us when i was very young.
we look happy.
but, i never had an arm around me, or a "b.f.f.f.f.'
i finally made it to him.
i couldn't say it.
that's not true.
i could say it,
but i didn't.
i hoped that my presence communicated enough to let him know that he is loved.
i am happy that he's still here and i do love him.
but the old adage isn't true.
you can miss what you never had.