I left out the Happy for a reason. Our relationships with our father’s can be so complicated whether you are the daughter or the son, whether is a bio, adopted or step father.
My step-father was about the sickest piece of human waste the world has ever produced, he did just about everything imaginable to me & when he was done with that he did things no one should have to imagine & then live through… He is alive & well in Valparaiso Indiana doing who knows what to my nieces & nephews. People like that live forever.
The string of my mother’s boyfriends were no better, more than my fair share of them brutalized me too…
My biological father was everything to me, I didn’t meet him til I was about 9 yrs old, I lived in Hammond Indiana at the time, there was a knock on the door & I opened it: There was a 7 foot tall man who looked just like me. The first thing he said when I looked up at him was “Hi! I am you & you are me”… I immediately slammed the door & ran & hid in my room. That was the worst day of my life, I had always pretended that my father was John Wayne & he was going to ride up one day & carry me off on a big & noble looking horse & we would go live on a ranch somewhere forever.This man was not John Wayne, & he did not save me. From what my mother & step-father told me he ran off on me before I was even born.
I had to go over to visit him on the weekends & then we moved & I lost contact with him. My step-mother (his wife) did her level best to make sure I was as miserable as I could be, she trapped me at one point in her closet & was just screaming at me that she hated me & asked why I even came over, so I quit going over, I quit asking. I never told my father what was happening to me because my step-father told me he would kill him & my sister & brother if I did. Keep in mind this was a person who would get me dogs or cats & run them over, or kill them & hold my face so I had to watch.
My father & I started to become close in my teen years, we battled like no one has ever seen because the truth was “He was me & I was him”. In my adult years we had up to 4000.00 phone bills every month, back in the days of long distance toll calls.
My father had 6 or 7 different engineering degrees, he was some kind of a special ops guy for the Military, I don’t know what he did but he mattered to them, the day he died I went to the base & they scheduled a special flight for me from Tacoma straight to San Antonio & drove me straight to the place where he was & later at his funeral they did the 21 gun Salute & the people who were there required up to 5 or 6 of their own bodyguards. I do know that if I called him & needed him up here he was here within hours.
My father also had literally DOZENS of children, not all of them with his various wives he also had, the WEIRD thing is none of those women ever hated him, none of them EVER had a bad word to say about him, they were all still madly deeply in love with him.
My father was also very easily bored, in my childhood he owned a railroad company in Chicago, a cattle ranch in Wyoming, built the tallest building in San Antonio, owned a chain of restaurants, bought & sold properties like a mad man, rebuilt by hand old Corvettes, & Thunderbirds. He would consult on most of the new buildings being built on the East Coast, he went in & did all the damage assessments from any natural disasters all over the world.
My father also taught me the difference between women & men, & he taught to love & respect those differences. He sat me down one day & said: Meja if we go to the store & see a box of puppies what would you do? I said I would pick them all up & kiss them & give them names & ask to take them home. He said “What would I do?” I said “You would be being mean & thinking of all kinds of excuses to tell me NO!” He said “No, you did your job, you are a woman, you create life, you love, you nurture, but my job is to look at those puppies & think how big are those things going to get, are they going to destroy the carpet, how much are the vet bills going to be, who’s going to walk the thing, is our fence tall enough to keep it in, what if they are not healthy & they die & they break my little girl’s heart?” HUH? He said men are men, women are women if they all stopped trying to be each other & learned to appreciate just how well the differences worked together to create a happy life, things would be so much easier for everyone.
When I found my husband after raising my kids nearly alone for 14 years, even though I had dated him for 4 yrs before he met the kids, the one thing that I still appreciate the very most about him is that he makes me feel safe enough to be a woman, to feel, to cry, to love, to nurture because I know he is strong enough to be a man, but gentle enough to express his disagreements without making me feel afraid or inferior. If my father was still alive he & my husband would be the best of friends & I know my father is smiling down from Heaven at us. I used to get “Father’s Day cards from my kids, today my husband has gotten them from all but 1 kid so far.
I think most of my blog readers see my anger, my disgust, & my frustration, I don’t often share my feelings namely my pain. Mostly because I don’t want to give the city of Everett jerks the pleasure of seeing my pain but also because I have a hard time expressing it in a meaningful way. Part of that is due to my Autism, part is due to my childhood.
Today I cried, I cried so hard I was scared I wouldn’t stop because I still need my father, I had so much to learn from him, like the fact that he did not run off on me, as a matter of fact he sold that railroad in Chicago to pay for investigators to find me, which is how he showed up when I was 9… Like “winning is everything” I needed to learn the rest of that, that there were different ways of winning & that sometimes no matter how you played the game you could not win. He died on “Good Friday” on March 28th in 1997, he was buried on Easter Sunday at Ft Sam Houston with full military honors. We were supposed to leave the country in a Winnebago me, him & all my kids & we were going to travel all the way down to South America, & home school the kids on April, 13th, 1997, he was selling everything & then we were going to leave. I wonder how much different my life would’ve been if he had lived, it most certainly would’ve been less painful.
So today as I wish my friends, brothers, uncles, family, sons & husband a Happy Father’s Day it occurs to me that I feel very much like that little girl waiting on the curb at the front of the house for John Wayne still… He will never come & the real guy, he left. I am surrounded by good men, my sons, my Uncles, my brothers, & my husband, yet today I feel so much like a lost little girl.
For the father’s that try every day I commend you, & for those who have run off, you will not only pay for what you have not done, but so will your children, for those of you who are at odds with your fathers, remember there will come a day when you won’t be able to make amends…
Hold on to what is good