HAPPY FATHER'S DAY -- (we need the men!)
Picture of my Pop and me. (Vulnerable post.)
There's so much I could share about my impressive, accomplished and unique father. For today, I'll share the great story of how after him leaving when I was little, we connected when I was grown up and how I got to have the relationship anyone would dream of with their father.
I loved him so much, as you can see even when I was teenie. My parents got divorced when I was 8 so I grew up with my loving mom and my awesome housekeeper, Rita, who was like a second mom. My father didn't disappear but he had a second family and was a busy man so I thought of him mostly as a source of distant discipline. I'm pretty clear he thought of me as kind of charming with potential and somewhat frivolous. Like so many of us, the divorce left me with unconscious abandonment issues no matter how much I logically combatted them.
There came a day in my 20s when I simply said, “That's it. I forgive my father and I completely love him. It would be a lie to say anything else.” He had been mildly sick but scary enough (gall bladder I think) that it shocked me into the realization that he wouldn't live forever and that my love for him was way bigger than my resentment for him not being there.
I vowed to simply love him without worrying what I got in return. That was the beginning of an amazing adult relationship I was so lucky to have for 5 solid years.
The father I couldn't imagine ever saying “I love you” to or hearing it from, ended up being a man I could say absolutely anything to. I could tell him about boyfriends, intimate questions, fears and we laughed so, so much. He was hilarious and his facility with language made him amazing at accents. I made myself not call him every single day because he was so much fun to talk with and I didn't want to become overly dependent on our connection, knowing he wouldn't always be there. So we spoke maybe 5 days a week. And it was easy to say, “I love you.”
My father kept growing and evolving his whole life. I was so impressed to witness that. There's no such thing as “you can't teach an old dog new tricks.” That's so silly.
I miss my father all the time and I'm so grateful that I got the closest thing to a fairytale ending you could ever hope for from a Prodigal Father.
I love you so much, Papa.