Well, this is the plump time of the year for such things. Graduations. Weddings. Showers. Births. Father's Day.
Oh, that last one is bittersweet this year. Well, it always has been. Years upon years, eons actually (as calculated in bad-marriage-years) of a time to celebrate the blessings of having a loving and devoted father, dependable husband, all of a package that.
I never missed an opportunity to honor him, joined by our daughter when she was still so tiny. As she grew her absolute and unconditional love and attachment to him grew. I cannot say when all that began to change, mostly because I was in denial about her increasing unwillingness to deign to someone who gave her nothing in return.
I never honored her feelings about her father, never addressed what he did, all the things he failed to do and kept on hoping that things would change. If I could only find how to do things right, do better, be better, then everything would fall into proper place. I would do no wrong, he would love us and we would all live happily ever after. Despite everything I have learned these past few years about myself and the dynamics of that relationship, there is a part of me that accepts all of the blame for everything that was wrong. The truth is that I should have been stronger and done something about all of that much earlier.
I protected her from the worst; time has proved that, and despite other failings that came along with that, I will never regret our daughter does not have to carry the burden of that as well. But, and this is huge, I was delusional to think that I was doing the best for us. I was not, and I cannot go back and change anything. I am stuck with the consequences of all those choices. I will carry that shame into my next life, and all those following. A Karmic debt that will never be paid. Not ever. Still, after everything, I wonder if anyone will help him celebrate in some way tomorrow. I can no longer honor him, but perhaps someone else will. I hope that he can find happiness in his own way, that he will not be lonely or alone. I want those things for me and so I want them for him as well.
And, whilst countless families will celebrate good fathers, and most likely, just like we did, some not so stellar fathers. Blessings to all of them. My son-in-law is a great father. Not perfect, which is a good thing because if he was we would all be so envious and a bit chagrined about our own imperfection. I love him like crazy and he is just as fond of me. So, good on that, even though I forgot to get him a present. He gets token wine, but the bigger gift is that I take the boys for an overnight.
I have a good excuse for forgetting. We celebrated the little guy's graduation from pre-school. I, being a grandmother, love all of those milestones. I do. Really. Just feeling conflicted today.
I am personally in a slightly celebratory mood, The training and all that. All the fun we had yesterday. The weeks I am taking off for time to do, to catch up on all the neglected stuff. My safe, albeit messy, home. CoolCat, that brilliant companion. My work. Finally receiving some of the joint resources from that other life.
There is sadness and the gradually diminishing sense of loss. I think that if I ever stop feeling some bits of that, well, perhaps I have moved too far in the wrong direction. I have earned the right to feel whatever I want. Or need to feel. The difference now is that all of that is my uninfluenced, independent and wonderfully flawed choices. Celebrating this part is not an option. I am content, satisfied even, to simply honor that small, surprisingly small and empty space that should have been filled to the brim with my hopes and dreams and good intentions for having a successful marriage and an imperfectly happy family.