Friday, March 09, 2007

I Want Him Back

This month marks one year since my father died. The actual date of his death is March 28th, 2006. But today, I am so sad.

Today I made my Social Identity Presentation in my Multicultural Issues course. It was a great assignment. And yet, I had to talk publicly about my father. I didn't realize how hard that would be until I was actually doing it.

What I thought was just the normal nervousness that accompanies speaking in front of people was really a tsunami of sadness that had been neglected for too long. I cried as I talked about my relationship with him. I tried not to, but there is something about grief that can only stand neglect for so long - and then it asserts itself.

I needed it. I needed to talk about my father. I needed to cry about my father. I needed the hug I received. No, I would never have asked for it, but there was no way I was going to deny it either. I did recover enough to finish the talk.

Even as I write, the tears come. Today I am not thinking about the day he died. No, I am thinking about the best day of my life - when he and I reconciled.

You see, I secretly hated my father for nearly 2 and a half decades. No one knew - even me. But when I realized it, I had rage - and then I longed to forgive him. I longed for his forgiveness.

You know what? I got it. We talked and I got everything from him I was looking for. I remember my tears then were tears of relief. Hate is a thing that suffocates you. Carry it around and pieces of you either start to die or never get a chance to live in the firtst place. For the first time in my life, I didn't hate.

I got 13 more years with him after than - and it wasn't enough. I want him back. I miss my father. I want him to be at my PhD graduation. I want him to see me wear the funny cap and gown. I want him to tell me how proud he is of me. For numerous health and work related reasons, he was not at any of my graduations, my wedding, or the birth of my children. I don't blame him for that. But never the less, I don't get to have it either.

It's my son's birthday party tomorrow. He'll be 7. I am going to be there, capturing it on tape, having as much fun as I possibly can. Even though I do not get to have my father for the important things happening in my life, I get to be a father in the important things happening in my son's life.

12 comments:

Gallagher said...

Beautiful words. For me, one of teh best days of my life is when I apologized to my father for the grief, chaos, and pain I caused him. Since that day our relationship continually grows stronger.

Len said...

I care.

Phil from Minnetonka said...

I miss your father too. I don't think about it often, but it jumps into my mind every so often.

Hang in there.

jb said...

Wow... you had 13 years. That's wonderful! When summer eases up on the work load, let's connect more.

Shump said...

Great words Chris. I miss your realness and emotion down here in "Pleasentville" I hope you have a great time with your family at the birthday party. Give them all our best.

Neva said...

I found your blog on John Dobbs blogroll. I am touched by your story. Fathers are so precious to us--their value increasing as years go by. I am so thankful for the reconciliation and the comfort it brings. I am praying for you
Peace and prayers
Neva

Fajita said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

My son's birthday party was a blast! Thanks in large part to my wife who single handedly transformed our basement into a gadget and gear shop - and all for under $25.00

She is amazing.

The real hit of the party was the toy parrot that would repeat twice anything said to it once.

Kid says, "You're a gooober."

Parrot says (a little bit faster), "You're a goober. Youy're a goober."

Great laughs.

Len said...

LOL!

Sounds like the seven-year-olds weren't the only ones having fun.

Terri Nelson said...

Hey Chris...relationships can be so complicated. My father died about 5 years ago and I did not even know he was sick, until the day before he died. He did not have time for family...he was busy searching for something to make him happy. It was a strange feeling when I heard he died...suddenly and selfishly he closed the door on "us".(Us meaning what I had always thought we might have someday) A firmly shut door...that leaves one with mixed emotions. I really did not know how to grieve something I had never had , but always longed for..........I finally grieved losing him as we grieved losing John. That is unexplainable.........God is good though and he sees us through the "stone" days so we can enjoy the "diamond" days .( That is an old country song)
Thanks for your thoughts.

Fajita said...

Terri, thanks for the words and sharing your story. I have found that I like hearing other people's stories. It's kind of like doing a little healing with someone.

Terri Nelson said...

Hey Chris...relationships can be so complicated. My father died about 5 years ago and I did not even know he was sick, until the day before he died. He did not have time for family...he was busy searching for something to make him happy. It was a strange feeling when I heard he died...suddenly and selfishly he closed the door on "us".(Us meaning what I had always thought we might have someday) A firmly shut door...that leaves one with mixed emotions. I really did not know how to grieve something I had never had , but always longed for..........I finally grieved losing him as we grieved losing John. That is unexplainable.........God is good though and he sees us through the "stone" days so we can enjoy the "diamond" days .( That is an old country song)
Thanks for your thoughts.

Shump said...

Great words Chris. I miss your realness and emotion down here in "Pleasentville" I hope you have a great time with your family at the birthday party. Give them all our best.