Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Father's Day, tomorrow

I hate Father's day.

Being forced as a kid to make dumb tokens of affections at school, and then presenting them to my father, was shear torture. Writing cards that expressed love and respect, made me sick.  My dad was, for all intent and purposes, a  mongrel. An alcoholic, abusive mongrel.

When I was 14, he got angry with me, for coming home late from school, (15 minutes, subway delayed) and he slammed me up against the wall, held me by the neck against the wall so that my feet were dangling. I couldn't breathe: I faked passing out,( I was going to pass out anyway, but I thought if I "passed out" quickly, he might let me go sooner.) It worked. He let me go. Long story short,  I hauled out and punched him square in the face.  Gave him a bloody nose and told him he ever touched me again I was going to kill him

He never struck me again. Never hugged me either.  The next time he inititated physical contact with me, was when he walked me down the aisle, kissed me as he lifted my veil, and then at the reception during the Bride/father dance. 18 years ago.

Ten years ago, I asked for absolution for striking my father, all those years ago. My Confessor said, two things, one "good for you!" and two, as penance , forgive your father.


I said that I didn't feel forgiveness for him yet


He said, forgiveness is an act, not a feeling. Do the action and the feeling will follow.


Walking home from Confession, I whispered sottovoce, to no one in particular, "Papa` I forgive you." It was an act of forgiveness.

Two months later, I said, "Papa` I forgive you." again  to no one in particular, and it was a statement of fact.

Yet,  still,  the last time I initated physical contact with him was when I kissed him as he lay in a coma, brought on by the effects of Cirrhosis of the liver, last year on Fathers' Day.


He dies two days later,  I perform my duties, arrange the funeral etc, and yet, as much as I wept, I still haven't grieved.
 
I miss him, I hate that he is dead. I don't hate him, now, but I don't know if what I feel is filial love either.

So today, in his name, I had a glass of wine, and said  a Pater Noster, and an Ave for him ( Not necessarily in that order)


Did I mention I really hate Father's Day

2 comments:

ignorant redneck said...

Puff,

Peace!!!

Our childhoods we're disturbingly alike. I hate Fathers Day too.

I also hate it, because i was such a bad father. I do pretty well as a Grandfather, but I was shaky as a father. To the point I am ashamed, and getting attention for Fathers day makes me want to cry.

I'm hoping my repeated requests to my kids that the Celebrate Trinity Sunday are heard.

I hate Fathers Day.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Red.
Thanks.

I know -you are right -our lives seem to have taken similar paths.

There is a whole lot in my past that "haunt" me.

And maybe slowly I will reveal them, maybe not. I am not proud of everything, and I don't define myself by every horrible thing that happened to me. But all the good and all the bad, have made me the person I am today.

Can't say it would have made me a better mother if I had never suffered anything bad. But my role model was my mother, and she was a protector, so that is how I see myself.

Bear was lucky, his role model, his dad, was a good man. And all that Bear knows about being a father comes from him. And he was taught well. Having him as father, helps me tremendously to be a mother.

Scripture to keep in mind

Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh his soul detesteth: [17] Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, [18] A heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, [19]A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren. [20] My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. ***Cf:Douay-Rheims Proverbs 6: 16-20

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