My Dad loved nature, birds, stars, planets and rocks. I can still recall him best through natural elements. He was a very handsome man but wasn’t vain. He was not educated but was smart and read the newspaper from cover to cover every day. He worked hard and took seriously his role as provider to his wife and four children. He didn’t talk to me much because he was a man of few words and little encouragement. For a large part of my life I don’t think he liked me much either. He had a bad temper and seemed to be trapped by his anger. But I remember sitting on his lap when I was a little girl in front of the humble, tiny little house we called a summer cottage (which is now someones garage) where we would have campfires on warm summer nights. I felt so safe there gazing up at the vast night sky with the stars and the full moon seeming to look down at us with that familiar crooked smile. Dads hand pointing wildly to show me the big dipper.
My Dad liked beer and he was probably a little drunk that night but I won’t ever forget the feeling of being his daughter by that fire under that moon.
I know now that he loved me, didn’t always like me but he loved me. I realize that life was hard for him and he took it all on his shoulders. Joy didn’t seem to come easily to him but bitterness and resentment did. When he died I felt a combination of relief and regret, grief, loss and fear.
Relieved because of our awkward, sometimes strained relationship and the grip it had on me, regret because there was no way to ever repair it, grief because we was my Dad, loss and fear because our family would never be the same.
I had no way of knowing how our lives would change a few months later. I left my husband and found true love, soon after that my middle sister abruptly cut me out of her life completely. Our family is but a shadow of what it once was. I think that my Dad was actually holding it all together in his own way. His quiet strength was the glue. It all came undone after he died. So Father’s Day is a time to take stock of the importance of the Dads in our lives. What are they holding up? What would come crashing down if they were gone? Sometimes this is less obvious than we may realize…
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!
And sending love, support and encouragement to all of the sons and daughters who’s Dads are no longer here or things may not be what you would hope for…
Dragon + Bunny