I may not have a chance to post tomorrow, and I would like to acknowledge Father's Day. I loved my Dad..a lot. He was 43 when I was born, the last of his six kids. He had mellowed considerably, and my time with him was quite different from what my older siblings experienced. For me, he was gentle and safe and I loved the smell of his greasy forehead and his whiskers and his beautiful singing voice and his laugh.
It has been 25 years since he died, and writing this makes me cry. What am I crying for, exactly? For the girl who lost her Dad before teenage-dom crept in to complicate it? I think that must be it. I have no frame of reference for my loss beyond 14 years old. He never saw one of my high school report cards, or dealt with my curfew or dating or driving. But still my heart swells up with a yearning sadness for the loss of him. And also with the love. He loved me, and I felt safe with him. I would like to think that we could have weathered all of the upheavals of living life together. That he would have accepted me when I came out at 19. That he would love Nik and her family. That he would have been at my wedding, and cried, because the men in my family are wonderful gentle souls who cry from joy. But. I will never know, and so I get to imagine it all being beautiful. And I get to hold on to the love he gave me. That's a joyful thing, and I'm grateful for it.
To the Father's I respect and know...
Love well, forgive, laugh, remember being young, heal so your kids don't have to carry your scars, take time, be gentle, be present, be present, be present. You only get the one go-'round. The tiniest moments have the potential to be beautiful gifts that stay and stay.