Today was a bittersweet day for me...
Father's Day always is. As I celebrate the father of my own babies and am surrounded by friends and family celebrating their own special fathers I feel alone in my grief over not celebrating my own. I can neither join in the celebration of the living, present fathers, nor join in the solemn grief over fathers who were present and have passed away into whatever is waiting for us after this life.
My father is alive. He is well as far as I know. He lives not two hours away from here. He is not a criminal or a violent man. He is not batshit crazy. He lives and works and functions in normal society and has friends and even family in his life.
The last time I saw my father was in October, 2008. Almost three years. He has never met my middle or my youngest sons. Despite living only three streets down from us when my oldest son was born he saw him only a handful of times in his two years of life before the last time I saw him. Even though he regularly came into the city where I live to pick up my much younger sister for weekend visits he has never been to my home.
Two years ago, after over half a year of not seeing my father. After not hearing from him after the birth of my second child. After years of hurt and disappointment had built up, I made the decision I couldn't pursue him anymore. I couldn't put myself, and now my children, into the path of being hurt when we felt like we didn't matter enough to him to warrant his care.
It was, hands down, one of the most painful, heart wrenching decisions I have ever made in my life.
And still, even now... I miss him. I grieve for the relationship I wish we had. Right now, as I sit here typing this I am not a rational, calm, collected almost 25 year old. I am a hurt little girl with tears running down her face desperately missing a man who has always been there... but never really been there.
My Dad is alive. I hope he is well. I hope that today was filled with laughter and life and music, because if there is one thing my Dad loves it is music. Happy Fathers Day to the man who gave me the gift of having music in my soul. Who taught me that having a play list with every type of artist and song and time period on it together (except rap, that was our one agreed on type missing from the list) was the way to express everything in life, all the ups and all the downs to help your soul feel better. Who only yelled when it really mattered (which was less than a handful of times my whole life) and never, ever raised a hand to me, to my siblings, to the woman he loved in our home, or to our animals.
Happy Fathers Day to my Dad who grew up without a Dad, but also without the ability to grieve that Dad because his Dad too was alive. And my Dad never stopped loving him.
With tears on my face and a lump in my throat I wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day. I wish it was different. I miss the good times we've had.
I'm off to soothe my hurt with some music... and while I grieve I'll remember that gift of music in my soul and I'll remember that I'm lucky to have that.