Sunday, June 15, 2014

* LONG AGO FATHER'S DAYS *

Those who have been frequent visitors to my blog and/or have read my memoir, know that I didn't have much of a relationship with my dad after my parents divorced when I was a young girl. I adored him during the years he and my mother were married, and devastated by his absence afterwards. He lived in other states, remarried, and was so self-absorbed, he just wasn't a dad anymore to my brother and me.



Although my mother bad-mouthed him every chance she got, I remember her saying us kids should send him Father's Day cards every year. I'm sure she hoped he would feel ashamed and guilty when reading our cards, although I don't know if that ever worked or not.

Those first couple of years, I'd search through the Father's Day cards, and choose an age-appropriate one, as in "To Daddy." But, it didn't take very long before I knew in my heart that I just couldn't send him a card that said what a wonderful father he was. Every now and then, I'd find a card that just said very plainly, "Happy Father's Day," and that one I allowed myself to purchase. The older I got, though, reading the loving sentiments inside the cards just made me think What a joke, and I stopped buying any.

My on-again, off-again tradition of mailing Father's Day cards to him continued all through my adulthood, and until his death in 2002. I never gave up my wish to have that loving, dependable father that eluded me all those years.

I hope everyone who had, or still has, a wonderful father, knows how fortunate they are! Be sure and tell them you love them.
 
~~~
 
 
Welcome to my newest followers Antonia Slate, and Grandma Yellow Hair @ Just Between Me and You.  I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!
 
 

28 comments:

  1. Oh Becky. Hugs. Mother's Day and Father's Day are both times of celebration - and times of pain.
    We didn't celebrate them when I was growing up - 'We want to be valued all year, not just on one day', but I miss them both. Despite the fact that their parenting was a bit hit and miss.

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    1. Thanks, EC. Growing up is hard. Being an adult is hard. Being a parent is hard, and if we can forgive our parents for not being perfect....or anywhere near perfect, then we are much better for it, aren't we? Hugs back to you!

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  2. Damn. My comment disappeared before I had a chance to publish it.
    It said that I could feel your sadness about your father.
    My parents separated when I was 21, my mother's idea, and she decided that I should not see my dad. He was a wonderful father to me and when I found out where he was living I popped in to see him one birthday and he seemed pleased to see me. A few weeks later mum said she'd had a note from dad, along with some correspondence from him, asking her to tell me not to visit him again. Even though that is over 45 years ago I still find it hard to believe and feel it was mum's doing and not dad's. They are both long gone (1971 and 1985) but sometimes tiny regrets do linger on over the years even though you try to let water flow under the bridge and away.
    His son's two daughters were so fortunate in having dad for their grandfather and I've always regretted that my two children missed out on that.
    I understand fully what you said about some of the over-sentimental rubbish printed in greeting cards (of all kinds in fact) and sometimes just a fairly plain one will suffice.

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    1. Dearest Mimsie! I feel your sadness, too. That does sound like a very strange thing for your dad to say to your mom, after your visit had gone well. Maybe it WAS her doing.....If only parents could see ahead of time what some of their decisions and actions would do to their children...If only....I, too, still have small regrets every now and then, even though I have forgiven both my parents. Most of those regrets are because of what I didn't ask or say when I had the chance. But, as you said....water under the bridge. Thank you so much for stopping and commenting. I really do appreciate it!

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    2. I intended to add that Dad asked to see me and we sat and had a long talk about many things (he was probably about 83 then) and I managed to iron out a lot of misapprehensions he had about my part in his separation from Mum. We became friends and my children were able to get to know him a little but he had stroke shortly after so we were then restricted to hospital visits before his death a year later. I am so glad though that he and I understood each other before I lost him again, this time forever.

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    3. I'm glad you had that time together, Mimsie. My dad and I e-mailed, and talked on the phone, and I visited him in Iowa a few times, during the year and a half before his death.

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  3. So hard for a child to understand why a loved parent would remove themselves from the family. It must take the glow off most special occasions. Holding good thoughts for you and all others who are missing their fathers.

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    1. Thank you, Delores. Yes, as I said in my reply to Mimsie...if parents only knew what they were doing to their children.....Thank you for your good thoughts, too.

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  4. Good morning, Becky.
    Tho' I chuckled through much of your memoir, I was really saddened by your father's actions. I don't want to speculate (which is totally out of character for me!) ... instead, I'm just enclosing a big hug!
    You've come a long way, baby! :)))

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    1. Hi Myra! You are such a dear friend and I happily accept your big hug...and send one back to you! And thanks....I really HAVE come a long way, haven't I?! :)

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  5. I am so sorry your father was like that. He missed out on so much!

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  6. Every father must meet the eyes of the man in the mirror everyday. His offspring have to deal with the holiday hurt. Glad you were able to reconnect.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I never have been able to understand how a parent could leave their children. And yes, I'm glad he and I did reconnect before he died.

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  7. Becky, Your candor is refreshing, if bittersweet. With just this glimpse of your father - through the simple act of perusing Father's Day cards, you share the painful realities of a child's longing for an absentee parent (and all the loss it represents). And within your story - there is the biting reality that greeting card verses can indeed be a joke. Seeing life for what it is can be painful at times, but writing about it so poignantly is a gift. Thanks for sharing yours! Vickie

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    1. Vickie, thank you very much! Your comment is beautiful. I'd say it's obvious you, too, are a writer!

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  8. Becky, I'm in the middle of your book now and enjoying it so very much. I'm so sorry about your relationship with your father. It is always shocking to me that a father could abandon his children and never look back. I have to wonder though, if that is what made you such a talented writer. I think that many times, when a person experiences sadness in their early years, they turn to writing to help them deal with the grief. What I've read in your book proves to me that you have dealt well with your grief, and I know it was difficult. Congratulations! laurie

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    1. Laurie, thank you so very much! I'm always so touched when someone tells me how much they like my memoir, and if they mention things in particular..and especially for those poignant chapters. Sometimes those were the hardest to write...and sometimes the easiest. I don't know if you noticed or not, but toward the bottom of page ii, it says: "If it hadn't been for my father, both literally and figuratively, this memoir would never have been written." That kind of says it all, doesn't it? Thank you again VERY MUCH!

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  9. I totally understand how you felt/are feeling, though for different reasons. In the last twelve months I've lost the man who became my father and the man who was, but through biology only. I was and still am devastated by the loss of foster dad. I did cry when I heard my real father had passed away, but only for the loss of what I never had. I hope that makes sense. The parental relationship is a complicated one. Whatever they may or may not have done, they're still our parents. We still grieve, even if it's for the loss of what should have been. My heart goes out to you, Becky.

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    1. Dear Ellie! I am so sorry for your losses, too. Life and parenting can be so wonderful, and so sad, too. Your last few sentences are just poetic! Thank you so much. And my heart goes out to you, as well.

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  10. This is such a heart-tugging post, Becky. I'm so glad that you were able to re-connect with your dad and, also, that your memoir brought you even more peace about y'all's relationship.

    My dad is still alive (and healthy), and even though we endured a few years of difficulty, we are now in a good place. I'll be visiting him (and my mom) in July. I do feel blessed to still have both parents, because so many of my friends have already lost 1 or both of theirs.

    Can't wait to read your memoir!

    Love,
    Patti

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    1. Thank you, Patti! I am very happy for you that you have a good relationship with your father! That really is a wonderful thing.

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  11. I've had a pretty interesting life up to this point - filled with many ups and downs; peaks and valleys - more so, probably, than most people.

    For quite some time now, my life has pretty much been in a "bottomed-out" condition, and I don't really have much (if any) hope that it will ever be much better than it is today.

    But the one thing I can say with certainty is that I had a Mom and Dad who loved us kids tremendously. (They separated a couple times but they never divorced, and I'm sure that my Brother, Sister, and I are the ONLY reason they didn't.)

    I've been up, I've been down; I've had money, I've been poor; I was on the road to fame, but ended up unknown... but one thing I have NEVER doubted is that both of my Parents loved me.

    I wish EVERYONE could feel that same thing. I wouldn't trade it for the fame and fortune I once thought awaited me.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Hey Stephen T. - I'm REALLY glad that you and your siblings had such wonderful parents. That really is a rare thing in life, I believe.....TWO great parents! BUT, you sure don't sound like your usual self here...I sent you an e-mail. Hugs to you, Mr. Stephen T.

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  12. Dear Becky, Very touching topic/post/replies. We children of divorce certainly have emotions to deal with. You are so correct that parents just never understand what they may put their kids through. As a parent I am keenly aware that my children suffered at the actions of myself and their father, but I'll never fully know the extent of details. After my divorce from their father, my son told me that I should know how to deal with it because I was the adult. Oh if only that were true!

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    1. Marcia, thank you for your thoughtful comments! Even though I still carried the hurt from my own parents' divorce, and I hated the thought of putting my young son, Scott, through any of that same sadness....at the very young, married age of my early 20s, I KNEW I had to divorce my then husband. It wasn't a matter of "the usual divorce reasons"....although there really aren't any such reasons ...it was a matter of safety and well-being, mentally and physically, for Scott and me. Thank goodness, I made the right choice with The Ronald!

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July 31, 2017