Reflections on Father’s Day

With Father’s Day this weekend, it seemed appropriate that I post some thoughts on my Dad
father.  This post was actually written several months ago and tucked away on SCHEDULED to be revealed to the world today. In reality, these sentiments have been written and re-written over the course of many years.

**NOTE OF CAUTION TO FAMILY MEMBERS WHO MIGHT BE THINKING OF READING THIS, IT IS PROBABLY NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT AND YOU MAY NOT BE VERY HAPPY WITH THIS POST, BUT IT IS MY TRUTH.**

My dad died over 25 years ago, before my youngest child had even had his first birthday. He died a pitiless shell of a man who, unfortunately, I never really knew. Earlier today as I was trolling Facebook, I stumbled upon the Boyz II Men/ Mariah Carey collaborative song “One Sweet Day” that they recorded in 1995. This song never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

I don’t hold any romanticized memories of my dad. There are no warm fuzzy memories of father/daughter talks, wisdom imparted while taking long walks together, father/daughter dances, or even of him ever saying he loved me or was proud of me. So why does that song always bring him to mind and reduce me to a blubbering mess? When he died I barely shed a tear. He was a depressed, full-blown, alcoholic who had managed to slowly pickle his brain, which, in my opinion resulted in a pseudo-suicide although the coroner’s report was bilateral pneumonia.

I do have a few fond memories of him though;

  • He enjoyed working in the yard, particularly designing flower beds and tending to annuals each summer.
  • He liked listening to opera and classical music. I seem to remember him listening to Madame Butterfly and La Boheme.
  • He liked nature.

What I cry for when I hear “One Sweet Day” is the potential lost. The closeness that every little girl wants from her father but which my dad was unable to offer. My dad had his demons: sinking feelings of self-worth, a lost sense of fairness in the world at large. He let those things get in the way of his relationships with the people he supposedly loved and robbed himself of the healing that might have come from those caring and loving relationships.

But he was my dad and this is Father’s Day weekend, so as I listen to “One Sweet Day” I grieve the dad I could have had, would like to have had, but never did.

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6 thoughts on “Reflections on Father’s Day

  1. From early pictures, I believe that I had the kind of dad every little girl wants – including being allowed to put a curler in the long comb over of his hair, BUT as I grew older, his past and what would now be classified as PTSD took over his personality. I didn’t even want him to walk me down the aisle when I got married, but I did so to please my mother. As I have been going through old pictures and documents; I am finding a side of my dad of my dad I didn’t know existed.

    • Karna, I hope the side of your dad that you’re finding as you go through those old photos is one of tenderness and love. It is such a waste that the societal stigma on mental illness, alcoholism, PTSD, bi-polar, etc., robs us of so many loved ones.
      Thank you for reading my post and for your heartfelt comment.

  2. My husband died in December 2015 of suicide and he was an alcoholic too for about 30 years. I always think about the what if… I loved your story, it’s so true.

    • So sorry for your loss, Katie. It is so sad that there are individuals that are so damaged that they feel the need to self destruct yet so shamed that they too afraid to seek help. My heart goes out to you.

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