Father’s Day Reflections

I just want to say Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there who are doing an amazing job at trying to be in their children’s lives and handle their responsibility.  And even to the dad’s that are expecting but still being supportive on their wives or significant other, Happy Father’s Day to you too!  I have to admit that for me and my siblings, Father’s Day is always a bit bittersweet.  While others are out celebrating with their dads, we are left with a void and broken hearts over the distance and lack of involvement our father has with us.

And trust me, it’s not because we haven’t tried to reach out to him because we have.  It’s just that somewhere over the expansive length of my parent’s marriage my father fell out of love with the Family Life.  Having been a teenage parent, I guess he always felt the yearning to reclaim his youth.  And I’m sure the fact that his mother died when he was 12 and leaving them with an abusive father didn’t help matters either.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the latter had a lot to do with it.  I was always led to believe that all my grandparents were deceased as a child. 

It wasn’t until I came home after a breakup with the love of my life  that I found out my father’s father died when I was four.  And all those years, I walked around not knowing.  I was helping my mom clean out some old papers and stumbled across the his obituary.  At first, I didn’t know it was him.  I saw the same last night and thought it was one of my great uncles, but when I opened and started reading “He leaves behind to mourn his death…” and saw my father’s name, I felt a rush of emotion.  I felt hurt, sad, betrayed and angry.  Then remembering how my father told me of some the horrors they lived with their father, understanding sunk in.

I’m not sure that I’ve still completely accepted my parents reasoning for leading us to believe that all of grandparents were dead, but at least I know why they did it.  They didn’t want us to be disappointed.  My grandfather wasn’t much of a father to his children and stepchildren and probably wouldn’t have proved to be much of a grandfather to his grandchildren.  From what I understand, he didn’t come to any of his children’s weddings, school activities or graduations.  He never tried to make peace with his jaded past until he was on his deathbed.  And even then he wasn’t very apologetic about the hell he’d put them through or the fact that he probably contributed to the cancer that killed my grandmother.

But still here we are years later and still we ended up disappointed of sorts.  I’m not going to sit here and say that my father has never been there for me, because he has and if I truly needed him again he probably would try his best.  However, what I am disappointed at is that he doesn’t make an effort to call.  My Moo barely recognizes her own grandfather.  She’s seen a total of maybe 6 times since her birth.  And it took my father months to remember her name (the sad part I gave her his mother’s name for her middle name).  For months, I heard my aunts and uncles telling me how they saw my dad and asked about the baby and he couldn’t even recall her name.

I cried the first time I heard that.  It hurt down to my very core.  I never felt so unimportant in my father’s life than at that moment.  I mean I spent almost three weeks of my pregnancy living at his house!  We watched kung fu movies together.  There was the night he went out and got us a 100 piece bucket of chicken nuggets from McDonald’s because I was craving them and my fiance had gone to work.  He gave up his room for me to sleep in and moved to the couch.  (My fiance slept in the other bedroom down the hall because my parents did not raise me to be disrespectful to their house rules even if I was grown and with child.)

And I was pretty sure that in those almost three weeks, I had surely mentioned the name I was decided on and he seemed to recall it every time he rubbed my belly and cooed to his unborn granddaughter.  Thank heavens that Moo came out a girl because we had chosen not to find out the sex, but common sense told me that my mother had five girls, my grandmother had nine girls and her mother had mostly girls and I too would 99.5% most likely be having a girl.  Her dad and everybody else swore she was coming out a boy.  LOL.  Imagine the shock when she came out a girl.  

I can only hope that Moo’s baptism will bring about a much needed change.  During her service I plan to pay tribute to my deceased grandparents and even insert a little reading about the importance of raising children and being their for them even when they become adults.  I hope that my father will get the message.  I know that he has done somethings to us that will never be forgotten, but at least we can all move forward to a place of healing.  I don’t want to have to lie to my daughter the way my parents did to me about not having a grandfather.  I pray that God hears this and throws us a miracle.

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