Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day: Another excuse to be a little crazy

Dear Mama,
Today is Father's Day. It's supposed to be a day during which I dote upon my wonderful sweet husband, who is the father of my children. Instead, it has turned into another example of how my shortcomings become major black spots on the track record of my career as a wife and mother. Today was not supposed to be about me. It was supposed to be about Michael. Yet, somehow, the impending feeling of doom that lies upon any day that requires me to make the decision to call him or not to call him leaves me sleepless, mildly depressed, slightly weepy, and missing you a little bit extra.
Last night the anxiety was already seeping through. I suppose it was my fault because I brought you up. But H was playing with a toy that you got him when he was only an infant. It was that electronic book with Tigger on the front. I told him, "Your grandma got this for you at a yard sale when you were just a baby." He said, "Which grandma?" and I reminded him, "My mama". That's when the questions started.
"Do you miss your mother?" and my favorite,
"The grandpa didn't die, right?"
No, he didn't die, sweetie.
But how do you explain the reality to your child when you don't even understand it yourself? At the age of four, he could not possibly comprehend the truth. That "the grandpa" and I were never very close to begin with. We never seemed to understand each other. We've never been able to get along. I've always been terrified of his being in the room, kinda the way you are scared of that E.T. book on sister's bookshelf... never actually causing any real harm but existing there, implying imminent danger nonetheless. And that, for as long as I've known him, he was teetering on the edge of sanity and when your grandma got sick and died, he lost his flippin' mind OR he's just a total jerk. Either scenario is unpleasant and not something I'd like to rehash with a preschooler.
Mama, the worst part of this whole stupid mess is that I don't have him around to talk with about you. Sadly, though, I have a feeling that he doesn't talk about you, think about you, or even remember you. He's that much like a robot. You used to say that we were so much alike and that was why we couldn't get along. I think you were wrong. I think we are the exact opposite of one another and we lived on such opposite ends of the universe that the only experience we shared was you. What a gigantic stretch that must have been for you... to connect two such drastically different people.
So, I leave you with a thank you. A thank you for trying to fill that void in my life for 28 years. Sure, you failed miserably and I sought out the approval of males in ways that were both dangerous and inappropriate. But you sure did try, didn't you?

With love,

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