*Disclaimer* This will probably be the saddest post you will ever read of mine. Of all the things I carry with me, this is the source of every dark nook and cranny of my soul. Every hidden secret stems from this one subject and all that is "my story" centers around it. I don't lay blame on anyone for my choices in life, but I do acknowledge the fact that if it weren't for this, the choices I had to make would have been very different. Please do not feel you have to read it. Please do not feel you have to comment. It is simply my effort to put some thoughts into words and round it up with some hopefulness. Today gave me an way to do that.
All I remember of my early years was that I was a Daddy's girl. My fondest memories involve sitting in my Daddy's lap, waiting for him to come home to see what he had for me (he was a drugstore pharmacist and would often pick up some little something for me when he had worked those long weekend shifts), and seeing the fish he would bring home from an early morning fishing trip with my brothers. Indeed, I owe my strong stomach to the mornings of watching him clean fish. Unfortunately, it is only strong where fish are concerned. I would also stand on his feet while he held my hands and walked around the house. I was "walking on daddy". He would sit with one leg crossed over the other in the shape of a 4, making a "hole" between his knees and I would slip through the hole behind his paper and knock on it till he let me climb in his lap.
The summer I was 9, I was shuffled off to a friend's house. I didn't know why. After what seemed like weeks, my mother finally came. But she didn't come to take me home. She came to tell me that my Daddy wanted a divorce. Now my mother never said anything bad about my dad to me, so I am sure she did not say it, but my little girl mind heard "your daddy doesn't love us anymore.
I don't want this post to become a total bummer, but in order to get the point across, I will tell you that over the years, my dad left us and eventually married another family. I say it that way because that is how it really was. There was even a girl my age in that new family. Back then there was no joint custody so I rarely saw him after age 12. I was back and forth, even still I am, between loving him so much I couldn't stand it and hating him to the point I wished he were dead. I have forgiven, hated, resented, and forgiven again so many times, that my own kids are confused about how to feel about him. And out of my ache for him to know my feelings, I have been open to anyone who would listen and might could sway him, about those raging emotions. To this day, I honestly believe he had no idea that his choices DEEPLY affected who I was and am. He thinks he did nothing wrong. In fact, he still speaks quite spitefully about my mother and lays the blame at her feet. At one point I wanted to scream "She's not the one who couldn't keep it in her pants!!!" But what's the use? He would just think she had turned me against him.
As an adult of this situation, I have gone from tentatively reaching out to him, desperately wanting him to be MY father and MY children's grandfather, bitterly resenting his "new" daughter (I never even met her till I was nearly 30 so I don't really consider her my step sister, nor her mother my step mother) and her children for having him, to respectfully and obediently trying to honor my father, to finally, slowly, and with much pain, realizing that he is never going to be what I want him to be and deciding to let him be the adult and the parent in the situation. I was going to continue to write occasionally, but it's his responsibility to initiate anything further. There will never be the closure I have always longed for. No, "I'm sorry I hurt you", no "I have always loved you", none of that. I just have to accept that he does not feel or see things that way. I really don't expect him to be around much longer and though I know I will regret it later, I cannot bring myself to think I would attend his funeral. I would not be able to contain my grief and I don't know what all I have bottled up in the name of forgiveness that will come out. But I have truly gotten to the place where I just don't think about him that often.
This morning, I awoke at 5 AM, thinking of my father and fighting tears. A quiet grief was there. I missed him. I had written him a couple of months ago and had heard nothing. He missed my birthday. Not that it was a huge deal, he does most of the time, but it was waying on me. I knew, as I always take those times to pray for whoever is on my heart, that God was moving me to pray for him. So I got up and went about my blogging activities with a prayer on my lips. Reading other blogs pulled me out of my funk and sent me on my way. Everything was fine.
This afternoon, in the mail, I recieved a birthday card from my Daddy. He had accidentally written the wrong zip code on it and it was returned to him. He wrote a short note telling me of the delay and re-sent it. Needless to say, the tears held back for months and even this morning, came. I still love my Daddy.