Father’s Day

Tomorrow is Father’s Day.

Yesterday, I was listening to Charles Stanley talk about the importance of telling your children that you love them.  That there are too many people who, growing up, didn’t hear the words from their parents. And their parents stopped hugging them.  Encouraging them to join them in doing things like making dinner or fixing the car.  That those children, now grown-up, will still make excuses for their parents, saying “I know they love me, but…”  And when questionned, the parents say, “well, they know I love them.”

Which contradicts.

He talked about the importance of always hugging. Of always saying ‘I love you’ and by doing things to show ‘I love you’.

My father was my hero. He was my idol. I wanted so much for him to be proud of me. For him to say, ‘good job’ or ‘I’m so proud of you’ or ‘I love you’.  Or to just hug me. Or to snuggle up to me on the couch.  But he decided early on, when I was ‘developing’ that he didn’t think it was right to hug anymore.  I wasn’t allowed to sit on his lap and just lean on his shoulder.  When he did hug me, it was brief. So brief.  It would break my heart when I would hear the words, ‘your father isn’t proud of you’, ‘he’s ashamed of you’, when I did something my parents didn’t like. I never, ever, ever, felt like I was good enough for them. I always felt that I had to earn their love. That I had to be good and do what they wanted for them to love me.

I haven’t seen my father since November 2011.  The previous month, my aunt died.  Cancer.  I went to the funeral.  I hadn’t spoken to my mom in a month because she said some horrible words to me and I couldn’t handle it.  I told your dad to stick to me like glue.  Oh, Jack.

I sat at the back, came in late.  And then I had to go downstairs to mingle. I really didn’t want to, but your dad thought I should, so I did.  Every single family member and friend of my mother’s said something awful to me. They called me names. My cousins were so horrible.  Their words, their spite, all of their anger, maybe misdirected, was thrown at me.  I was yelled at, in a funeral home.

And we left.

And I told them I couldn’t speak to them again.  My mother sent me an email, telling me that it was too bad that they said those horrible things and she hadn’t known. Of course she knew. Of course she heard them.

And that’s not what keeps me away. What keeps me away is the way they were talking to each other.  They mocked my cousin, who’s mother had died, saying ‘well,she can’t use her mom anymore’.  My mother, very loudly, told her life-long friend (who told me off) that she didn’t speak to her sister anymore.  Her sister was right behind her.

How could I possibly stay in that?

I look at my life, at how hard I tried to earn their love, I can’t.

 

Your Dad. Is incredible.  You don’t have to do a thing to earn his love.  Ever.  We adore you.  We adore your heart, your humour, and love your character.  You have such a huge capacity to love, my boy.  I’m envious of it.

 

I know you’re going to be an amazing dad one day.

 

xo

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