FATHERS DAY


Fathers Day is today, and dad's are getting calls, gifts, accolades, and surprises.

For me, not likely. I may not fit the job description.

This post will probably not be well received in some circles. Either because someone might not agree. Maybe because it is a bit harsh, and some don't like to have their preconceptions and positons challenged. Whole families survive with the undercurrent and unstated invisible agreement and coercion that no one will challenge one another's prejudices and presumptions and that everyone subscibes to a certain historical family narrative and dances to the same tune. Let's call all that the glue that holds the family nexus together. I know, I know, there's the love. Love is undisputed. But, functionally, don't tread on me. Go along.

To clarify, I live my life by this . . . "What others may think of me is none of my business." Do what you're going to do, or not do. My happiness is innate. Just like yours is too. 

However, there is a sadness for me on Fathers Day. Yet, I know that it is a sadness that I have brought into it myself. Not in any way caused by howsoever things may or may not be. And, I also know that the Lord will continue to bring life to us in just the way we need to be sure that when it's time our heart will be returned to its original and true pure state. So, to it all, let's say, "Yes!"

There comes a time in everyone's life when you have to come to terms with the realization that your father is not what you thought, or would have wanted him to be. Justified or not, that residual inner friction is probably universal, and has its value. (If you are reading this and not identifying with having/having had any such inner friction yourself . . . I'll let sleeping dogs lie.) The resolution to that is necessary to have all of your heart available for all whom you love. Ignorance is not an excuse. But, it will be excused when you wake up to your forgetfulness.

In my daughters' lives, I don't know whether they contend with it, have resolved it for themselves, or (more likely I would guess) just shunt it away. As their mother proudly used to say, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

When I separated and divorced from my daughters' mother it was difficult for all of us. That is natural. My girls wanted me to "come back and be our daddy." Hearts broke. But, hearts mend. But, it takes doing. How long does it take? As long as you want. Now, is the best time to clear things up. Don't count on later. It may never come.

Regardless of what interpretation I may want to put on those events, the separation from my family did not go well. For everyone. And, for my daughters. You see, I was shunned. Still am. All her family, and all our (so called) friends.

The insidious aspect of it was that there was nothing supposedly said about the justification for the shunning. I am in some circles, just not given any thought at all. When I probed into that when my daughters were younger, they would snap at me that nobody ever said anything bad about me. The thing is, when you have some animosity in your heart towards someone, that animosity resonates of its own; no words need be spoken. It communicates.

In my ex-wife's family a similar situation occurred with an aunt on her mother's side. Her husband up and left. When I showed up to that family as a newlywed I heard the story that they were divorced, and not too much about him other than the distinct impression that he was a no good sonofabitch. His one daughter ostensibly was so shell shocked by the experience that she floated in and out of the scene in a kind of a melancholy trance. I don't know if she ever got out of it. The wife was looked at by all with pity.

Now, my ex-wife is too strong to entertain that kind of drama. But, I remain outside the family circle. My inquiries as to how everyone is doing get a thorough, "Just fine."

So now my daughters have the paradox facing them: to reconcile within themselves how to relate to the two people whom they love, who themselves do not relate to one another. Specifically, how to include those two seemingly irreconcilable positions. The circle of love wants to include. It wants to expand. Keeping anyone out of the circle of your love means that you do not have all of your love available even for those in your perceived circle.

Just for the record, it doesn't matter. I am blessed with my daughters, and all their family. In the way they are, and are not , in my life.

Don't change a thing.

As they say, just sayin'. And that is a dad's prerogative. My gift, seen with a clear heart.

No comments: