Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Father I Never Had

My dad died last night. I never knew him very well. I saw him maybe a couple of handfuls of times in my life. I heard he had brain cancer just two weeks ago. Then yesterday that he was in a coma expecting to die, as I was returning home from a trip to Hawaii. I had a moment on the plane,—hoodie up, tears running down my cheeks, looking out the window, as to to hide them from the friend I was flying with.

I began the drive home, up my mountain in blizzard conditions only to turn onto my dirt road in treacherous conditions. At least 6 feet of snow had fallen since I left and things just looked different. I pulled into a drive-way I thought was mine, and after doing the 6 point turn to get into it, realized it was not my house. The safest thing for me to do was to back-up all the way to my house. When I arrived, seeing snow half way up my front door and 100 yards down to get to it, I just started laughing and laughing. I had an overweight 52 lb suitcase, heavy carry-on and 6 bags of groceries to get into the house. And lil me, all by myself. 

I laughed again at the absence of the masculine in my life. My father, never having fathered me, on his way out, and 4 months earlier a man I had moved half way across the country for, expecting to build a life with, having utterly dismissed me after a month with no real reason.  And about three months earlier, ending even a friendship with a long-time lover and friend. Not to mention, leaving my son to live with his dad when I moved. Major losses of the masculine presence for me. 

And there I was, in the middle of a blizzard, looking at my snow-engulfed house, just me, myself and I—oh, and the big snow, wind and darkness. I smiled. Proud of myself for even making it home, in a blizzard, backwards…getting stuck once and getting myself unstuck without even getting out of my Subaru. I thanked Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael for the safe passage I had requested. And my lil heart expanded again in that moment. Feeling my utter physical aloneness, feeling my own courage and with an inner-depth of knowing that I am never really alone. That the unseen is as present with me as the seen, that my trees and mountain, which I’d already greeted hello, were as aware of me, as I was of them. My lil girl heart believes that they were also just as happy to see me again as I was to see them. 
I donned my metaphoric wonder-woman cape (sounds better than big-girl-pants), got my two smaller bags out of the car and maneuvered my way down the driveway to my front door. The snow was literally mid thigh and much higher in other places. I laughed the whole way down in disbelief at the sheer amount of the white stuff. I dare say, even growing up in Maine, I have never seen this much snow in my entire life. I devised a plan on the way down, (as we woman must do, without the proverbial man in close proximity)…and the laughter continued. I’m kind of a little person, and I’m not that physically strong, so short of taking all of my over-packed crap out of my suit-case in 10 trips, (which did not in the slightest appeal to me), that suitcase was not going to make it in. Then I saw the sled…and laughed some more. 
You HAVE to know, attitude is everything. I just accept and often laugh at it all. Not withstanding the broken-heart, btw. I just simply TRUST, that whatever is happening, is for my highest good. Then I SURRENDER to the moment and ACCEPT it just the way it is, with no complaints. A simple, “So this is what is happening now…” often goes through my head. And I say, “Ok, now what?” And wait for the answers to come as they always do. I also ALLOW my feelings  to be felt about whatever the situation has brought up without shaming, judging or criticizing mySelf. Sometimes it’s feeling alone, sad, broken-hearted, angry, or frustrated. I OBSERVE what my lil human-self is experiencing. I am also con-currently aware of the real truth of my Soul which is my big joy, gratitude, humility, and reverence for this sacred human experience. That's the feeling that has been so over-riding within me for some time now. It’s the BEST!!  Seriously. I am always just laughing at my life. Often when most would be crying and/or pissed. 
But I digress…I was going to write about the weird feelings that my virtually unknown, absentee father’s death has spawned within me. I think i was feeling a re-triggering of his abandonment from my childhood. I think the most painful part for me is that I felt so sad that he did not want to know me. His own biological creation. Why doesn’t he want to know about my good grades? Why doesn’t he want to know that I’m running half the clubs in school and president of my youth group? Why doesn’t he want to know why I’m majoring in Theology at Boston College? Why doesn’t he want to know that I’m married, have kids, divorced, married and had another kid? Why doesn’t he want to know if I'm ok…if I have what I need, if I have food and a roof over my head? Why doesn’t he want to know how awesome I turned out in spite of his absence? 

I may never have the answers to those questions. It is what it is and what it was. And…I’m here now. I may always feel that abandonment, that lack of interest, that feeling of something being missing in my life. And…I’m ok. And…I wouldn’t change a thing. I am who I am today because of his absence. It made me strong. It made me independent. It made me self-reliant. It made me seek outside of mySelf and then back in, to the only love I will ever truly need. My own. So my resourceful, “I can do it, mySelf.” attitude hiked that little purple sled up to my car and put my very large, red suitcase on its side on top of it as I laughed all the way down to my front door. 

I got a message that my dad had died at 2am, just a few hours after I’d arrived home safely. I like to think he’ll be one of my angels now and that what ever prevented him from being with me in this life, will no longer be an issue for him from the other side. I love you, Dad. Forever grateful for all that you were and all that you weren’t to me, for both have forged my Soul. 

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