Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Had A Dad - Addendum

So..... Father's Day. This was always a somewhat awkward day for me. I was only ten or eleven when my parents separated, so the stuff expressed in most Father's Day cards was foreign to me. Growing up, I never got my allowance from my dad. I never borrowed his car. I never asked him for dating advice, never cried on his shoulder when my heart got broken, never went to a father-daughter dinner or dance... you know, all that typical cheesy schmaltzy crap that is the earmark of Hallmark. Most cards reflect a close father-child relationship, and given the space between us, those types of greetings didn't really seem appropriate. And yet we DID have a friendly and familial relationship during most of my adulthood. There wasn't much of a selection of cards that seemed to fit our unique relationship, so choosing the right Father's Day card to send my dad was always something of a challenge.

I wasn't faced with that challenge this year, and I felt that void acutely. I knew that Father's Day this year would be a little difficult, but I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it has. Despite the geographic and emotional miles that had been between us, I am missing my dad today.

Maybe it's the finality of it settling in... that he's really gone now, not just far away. Maybe I'm feeling all the evaporated hopes of finally visiting him and having him show me the Hawaii that he knew and loved. Maybe I'm feeling all the lost opportunities we may have had to eventually build a closer relationship. I know I'm missing the back-and-forth e-mail banter we enjoyed. And I think I'm especially sad that there's one less person in the world that I knew I could count on to root for me, to be proud of me, to help celebrate my accomplishments and encourage me when I failed. Our relationship had its scars, but I still had a father who loved me, and called me his "Dotter". I'm feeling the loss of his presence in my life.

Mr. Remarkable Monkey went up to his folks' today to celebrate Father's Day with his dad. I like my in-laws well enough and my father-in-law is a gem, but I just didn't feel up to spending Father's Day with someone else's dad this year.

Dad c.2000
Instead, I chose to stay home and honor my dad's memory in a way that I think would make him happy. And so I'm sitting on the patio, writing. My dad was something of a writer... he was even published a time or two. And I'm sipping a glass of Glenfiddich, his favorite Scotch. I don't know if he took it neat, or with water or on the rocks... I may never know now. I opted for neat. And while I'm not a fan of whiskey, I gotta say... the Glenfiddich is not too bad. I guess Dad is still teaching me things after all.

Cheers, Dad.
I miss you.