And then there is Father’s Day. Which has become just another reason for me to stand in the Hallmark store and cry. Ridiculous. My dad passed 2 years and 2 months ago. Yesterday. He was my hero, my rock, my back, always. I miss him with a pain like a toothache. Father’s Day just reminds me of how much. So tomorrow, when my husband goes to see his dad I will sit at my Father’s grave and tell him about all the crap that has happened in the few weeks since I have been there. Cathartic, but woeful, believe me.
And this morning we are going to see our son and his daughter, because the bitch that bore his child is taking her out of town for Father’s Day. But, for our Joe, everyday is Father’s Day and he has raised Ava since her mother ran off when she was 5 1/2 months old, so he’s had a lot of days to hold her hand and love her, which he does….
And then my husband, who is not my Father. Good man, simple man, selfish man, predictable man. Father to my three babies, grandfather to my four grandchildren…trying hard to be the man everyone needs him to be when in reality he wishes he was on the race track with his Nova…..
right now I am having a hard time pulling out that joy and optimism and contentment that usually keeps me in place, grounded. I find myself jealous — of my sons friends who have “millionaire” parents who give their thirtysomething kids everything — trips and down payments for houses — you name it, anything. Jealous of families who don’t have mental illness and single parenting and health issues to deal with. Jealous of people who get to stay home, and people with super jobs. Jealous . Jealous. Jealous. Feeling sorry for myself these days. My son, who has raised his daughter pretty much alone for the whole 4 years of her life, is embroiled in a custody battle with her mother — who after leaving that child at 6 months, who after spending more time out of her life than in it, has now decided she is a parent and is making ridiculous demands and taking my granddaughter out of town on fathers day…is hurting, and I want to fix it. I cant. I cant. and I hate that I cant. My granddaughter, who learned to walk in her daddys living room, who spent many nights in the crib in her room in my house….isn’t going to see her daddy on Fathers day. Now, my son, who is obviously more mature than me, said Mom, its not a big deal, she and I will have Father’s Day tomorrow , on Saturday. Its our day mom, we can do it whenever we want. And that makes my heart break as much as the fact that he will wake up on Fathers day and for the first time ever, that baby wont be in her bed in the room next to his. Damn Hallmark.
Back story: my dad died just over 2 years ago. An ugly, “go not quietly into the night” death, in a nursing home with my mom and I at his head, my husband and two brothers flanking his sides. I was angry, almost violently so, at my mother. She had made me leave dad in a nursing home when I wanted to bring him and her home with me. She had made me move him out of my home less than two weeks before his death. She had made me break my promise to dad that he wouldn’t die a public death. I was angry.
And I have remained angry. I speak with mom frequently but avoid visiting. I ask her to come live with us, but am secretly glad she doesn’t. I rely on my one sober brother to cart her around, take her to the doctor, visit her regularly. Love her. I have been unable to get past the anger, the resentment, the pain of watching my dad die that way, and it is very easy to blame her.
Then when I have resigned myself to the fact that she is a bitter old woman who thinks only of herself and doesn’t give a damn about family or responsibility or love, she goes and blows me out of the water. She offers to do something so selfless, so giving, so “dad” . She does so without hesitation or stipulations, no ‘buts’ or retreats. She returns to the woman that I vaguely remember from my youth. My mom. And I cry like a baby, a cathartic cry that has been held in for the past 2 years. And I feel the anger literally wash off my shoulders. And I can sense dad smiling.