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
Scripture to keep in mind
Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh his soul detesteth:  Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,  A heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren.  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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