Thursday, July 09, 2015

Happy Half Birthday Daddy

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?

I loved finding this shot of me coming out of the office of the family plumbing store like I owned the joint. The stories of me tossing cash out of the register are legend and it's so sweet to see me there...in your space.

So about your "half" birthday. The other day a real life friend on Facebook had bought a cake and had a party for her dad...who would have been 100...in heaven.  Seeing her video brought me so much joy. And I've been so sad, so broken, thinking of our time cut so short... that video made me realize I need to see it differently. I have to. You were born on the 9th and you left me on the 9th. So I've decided, from here on in, to celebrate how wonderful you were on your half birthday. Since you always loved a good party, I'm certain it's OK with you.

Happy Half Birthday Daddy. I love you!

8 comments:

Girl Power Golf said...

Lovely

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Such a heartfelt post for your Daddy!!! Happy Half Birthday to him from us.

Woos - Ciara and Lightning

K9friend said...

What a sweet and poignant tribute to your dad. And how wonderful to have those memory-evoking pictures.

Pat
Critter Alley

Mark Muller said...

I cried while reading, but you found wonderful words for your daddy...
thanks for sharing your memories and your thoughts with me
easy rider

rottrover said...

You were the cutest little girl ever!! We're so glad you're our auntie!

-Ruby and Otto

KB Bear said...

What cute photos of you as a kid! And wonderful memories of your dad.

Snowbrush said...

I love the photos, and I love it when you write such personal poats, and I'm sorry that you couldn't be there for him when he died.

Snowbrush said...

I grieved intensely for a year and a half when my mother died (in 1988), but I’ve never shed a tear for my father in all these 21 years that he’s been gone. Yet, it’s my father who still comes to me in dreams, and unlike the heart-wrenching dreams I had almost every night for that year and a half after my mother’s death, the ones about my father are always pleasant. In them, he’ s old and he follows me around like a dog (which is what happened in real life—pleasantly so). I’m always glad to see him. Even in my waking life, he’s often in my thoughts, while my Mother seldom enters them. How odd that the parent I grieved so exorbitantly for is almost completely absent from my life, and the one whose death was something of a relief, is still with me.