Sunday, June 10, 2012

First Father's Day

For long time readers here, talk of my daddy issues is nothing new.  What is new is that I have actually found my father and have been speaking with him regularly for a while.  We had not spoken to one another in over 19 years & have not seen each other for about 30.  Needless to say there have been a variety of feelings that have come up.  At first I was excited.  Despite the fact that our first two conversations was me giving him the what for & telling him what a crappy dad he was, I found myself happy to know he was alive and not in jail.  I was even more enlivened when we exchanged "I love you's" for the first time in so long.  For weeks I rode a wave of calm forgiveness and just focused on getting to know him.  But recently I crashed head long into just about the deepest place my heart feels pain.  I was bereft all day.  My sleep the night before was jagged and filled with tears.  All the work I have done for so many years on my daddy issues suddenly felt inadequate in preparing me for having a relationship with my dad.

Next Sunday will the the first Father's day I'll ever celebrate.  My wife picked out the perfect card to send to him & I have created a care package to go with it.  My daddy is a Black southern man who is at times quiet and at other times reflects back to me my exact giggle.  He is a very physically ill man.  So sick that I'm nearly guaranteed he'll never be able to physically strike me again.  Though I am most grateful for that, it is also painful to hear him wheeze and become breathless from a phone conversation.  He has a debilitating case of Sarcoidosis combined with asthma.  Apparently Black people get it worse than others, which may in part be why my father has it so severely.  Some famous people who had Sarcoidosis include Bernie Mac and Reggie White.  Anyway for the first time Father's Day actually means something.  It's honestly a bit strange that it feels as "normal" or perhaps a better word would be natural - yes it feels oddly natural to acknowledge him that day.  His voice is also oddly familiar.  The moment I heard his first words to me in 19 years, I knew they were his words.  His voice.

There is so much to process that I am finding myself in need of some paid mentorship (ie. therapy) so I don't try to hide my feelings away.  But I also don't wish to wallow or be excessively expressive when it comes to my feelings for him.  Baby steps are in order.

So I have found my dad whose voice is so familiar and reflects my own laugh and still has love for the WWE.  My wife prayed that he & I would find each other and now we have.  I just hope the two of us can, instead of trying to make up for lost time, make a place for one another in our lives and find our own way to walk the loving road so many other fathers and daughters have walked before us.

Image credit 

No comments: