Happy Half Birthday Daddy! Today, you would have been 97 and a half... and this afternoon is the 40th anniversary of your death.
This day and the weeks leading up to it have been torture for me for 38 of those 40 years. I thought I was over it two years ago and last year it was barely a blip on my radar...but it's back with a vengeance this year. I realize that two years ago, I was distracted with Mom's new hip surgery and delighted to be back home in my own space. And last year, my Mabel passed and I had my hands full with my new girl Macy. Distractions are a good thing apparently.
I know you wouldn't want me to be so sad all these years...but how can I not be?? I was a rude pubescent teen, punished by the lies of my mother, the misconceptions of my grandmother, who never understood the truth of you. The unconditional love and joy you brought to my life. What a shame to have the only a parent who thinks you are wonderful for a mere 11 years!
I'm so sorry for how rude I was before you died...not wanting to talk to you. I was an angry girl...those lies not making sense and I had to struggle to find my own truth, your truth, our truth. And even now, it's still unfolding...the things this love-child never knew.
I inherited a stack of childhood photos of me when your beloved only sister (my Sissy) died. The revelations they bring are sweet and tender.
I never knew we spent a Christmas together or that I spent any Christmas with your family... but here's your mom sitting in our living room the first Christmas I remember. Mother was taking too long to warm my clothes in front of the heater and after she got my shirt on, I could stand the wait no more. I raced, bare bottomed to see if Santa had brought me a trike...And that seat was SO COLD! But I was so happy to have it, I rode around the den with my naked behind in the air! And all these years later, I learn you and Sissy and Ma Pearl were a part of it. Just look as Sissy being a little mother hen as I ride!
Here I am putting on a show in Sissy's den and I'm pretty sure that's your knee in the shot, taking the photo. Why are there so few photos of us??? I know we spent so much time together... was your fear of exposure so great that there are only two photos of us in existence??? And your head is cut off in one of them. How sad.
Again in Sissy's living room... Mother's luggage on the floor tells me we were there to stay a few days. I always remember being welcomed with open arms. Your mother and siblings and most of their spouses accepted me with love. It breaks my heart that my brothers do not. I'll bet it breaks yours too. How could a little girl be a threat to grown men?
Happy Half Birthday Daddy. I love you!