Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mad for Dad

I can't wait to get my life back. The latest casualty of this move is Father's Day.

"So what?" you might ask.

Well, for one thing... I still have my Dad. He's a marvelous, loud, big, smart man who's been there for me and endured injury and insult from me from the time I was small. I broke his front tooth with a padlock while playing peek-a-boo over the front seat of our car, which after about 40 years was finally fixed. I'm sure as a teenager I inflicted all kinds of torment upon him. He taught me my first word (DAMN!) by accident as he hung pictures in my nursery and whacked himself with a hammer. He has infused my life with words ever since - not all of them of the sailor variety. When I was half a country away in a bad marriage, he would write me these wonderful letters that helped keep me going - and when the marriage finally ended, he drove out in his little pickup truck with me and helped me gather all my belongings and stood beside me keeping my ex-husband at bay. He's lent me his ear, his money, his back, and his truck so often that I know I will never be able to repay him for all he's done for me.

And as I was driving to the old house yesterday, it suddenly occured to me that Sunday was Father's Day. I hadn't gotten anyone a card or made any plans. I called my Dad to see what was up and if there were any plans for Sunday (I do have to share him with 5 brothers, so there's always plans to consider). I apologised and told him what I was doing and he said that there were no plans, just a quiet Sunday afternoon and to not worry about him but keep on doing what I needed to do. I worked on the old house until 4am, collapsed on the floor and slept for a few hours before packing some boxes and heading for home. And in the car, my mom called and invited me to lunch with Dad. I was so nasty sweaty and smelled so funky - it would have been embarrassing. So instead, they came by my house after lunch and my Dad sat and watched some soccer with my husband (Dad is from England and occasionally it shows) while my mom wandered around with Z-boy and I took a shower. Feeling much fresher, I hugged my old papa and wished him a happy Father's Day.

As we all get older, I become more and more aware that one day Father's Day will roll around and I won't have my own father to celebrate anymore. Which makes missing one now feel really awful.

I love you, Dad - and having you in my life is one of the biggest blessings I know.


Janet said...

Father's day, as well as fathers themselves, are one thing many of us often take for granted.:(

Sayre said...

I can't take my dad for granted anymore.... haven't really, since I was a semi-rebellious teen. And I've seen plenty of examples of bad-dads, which makes me appreciate my own all the more. My husband is a great dad too... something my father remarks on from time to time.

ablondeblogger said...

I am so jealous. My dad is awful and I have no relationship with him (and I'd never, ever want to have one with him ever again).

My uncle passed away a little over a year ago and my cousins (his daughters) have to suffer through Father's Day AND Mother's Day because they also lost their mom to cancer when they were teens.

I do love my step-dad and call him "dad" and he's the one I call and send gifts and cards to, so it's not all bad. :)

Sayre said...

I don't think your dad has to be your biological father (mine just happens to be). My stepson was blessed with two wonderful fathers. As long as you have a man in your life that has guided you and that you've looked up to - that's your dad!

ablondeblogger said...

I so agree! My uncle was also that way for me (the one that passed away last year). Both were/are excellent father figures for me.