Monday, June 26, 2017

Late post: Ramblings about my Dad

Today is Father’s Day.  I went shopping for a card for him yesterday and not one card felt true to me.  Not the “Best Dad in the World”, “My Hero”, “Amazing Father’ etc.  Not one inspired me to buy.  Instead I chose the simplest and blandest card ever.  The outside had a picture of a dad sitting on a couch, scratching his belly and on the inside, it just read, “Happy Father’s Day”.   I

t’s not that I don’t love my dad, I do.  In my own way.  But something inside always keeps me from truly loving him.   Oh, I know all about forgiveness and moving on with life.  And how it’s a very healthy thing to do.  Trust me, I did the therapy sessions and the self-help books for a long time.  Until one day I finally decided that I didn’t hate him and that I was tired of being angry and that I just couldn’t keep going on with myself like that or I would be unhappy for the rest of my life.  So, I forgave him.  But forgiving him didn’t mean I suddenly wanted him in my life all day, every day either.  I can only take him in doses and only for short periods of time.  Isn’t that weird?  My siblings do not understand me.  They think that I just hold grudges and am mean to him.  Maybe they are right.    I just can’t force myself to go through the motions of portraying him as something he is not nor has ever been to me.  Sure, he worked hard and made sure that we were fed and clothed (because my mom was always there for us to make it happen) and he put us in the best private schools in the city (again, at the insistence of my mom) But I guess what I am most disappointed in is that I never saw him as someone I looked up to, or felt protected by.  He didn’t respect us.  He lied and always cheated on my mom.    I remember arguments they would have that we could have easily sold tickets to because they sometimes rivaled something you would see on the tv show “Cops”.   And then there are the dark secrets that only I remember.  That only I went through with him.   And that is when I remember why I have this love/hate relationship with my father.  But even still, I do love him.  He is my father after all.

So, for this day, the day they honor Dads, we took him to a baseball game.  My father is an avid baseball fan.  He is the one that introduced my siblings and I to the love of the game and the Astros.  It had been a while since we had done so as a family.  So that’s what we did.  We did the whole brunch thing with him and then headed to the ballpark.  It was a really, really, good day.  One of those days that no one bickered but laughed instead and just enjoyed each other’s company.  I know he was happy.  I just wish that this good feeling we felt, would last 365 days a year instead of just one.  Once the game ended, we Ubered it back home, said our goodbyes and got into our respective cars and resumed our normal lives.

Perhaps one day, I will truly forgive him.


CWMartin said...

I know what you are saying. It was always hard for me to square the man I lived with to the "hero" my nephews and my brother-in-law saw. Somewhere in between "he did the best he could," and "he did what he did, deal with it", you have to make a peace with yourself over it. Because you can't change him. Laurie had much the same problem- a man who could be incredibly generous with THINGS and in the next breath, tell you you were nothing to be proud of.

One thing you must remember is no one will perceive him exactly the same, because no one was treated exactly the same way. You don't really have to deal with anyone's questioning but your own.

I got it settled for the most part after taking up a suggestion from Promise Keepers and "Having it out" with him. (He'd been dead for decades at this point. Letting "him" have his say as well helped me to understand a little better that he was the sum of his parts- and sometimes you have to go beyond yourself to see the whole picture. Good luck with whatever you need to do to find that peace.

Blue Grumpster said...

No, that isn't weird. It makes perfect sense to me. Thank you for sharing that. My 'Dad' was the embodiment of hell on earth, and no therapy sessions were going to help me or my Mom. I'm glad he's gone.

So what if your siblings don't understand you? All that means is they can't walk a mile in your shoes.

Yvonne said...

CW- Thanks friend. I'm glad you made your peace and were able to move on. I think that although I have made my peace, I will always harbor resentment for everything he put my mom through.

Blue- I totally understand what you say. Hugs to you.

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