Warning – may be unsuitable if you’re highly empathetic, or already having a bad day. One of the rabbit holes turned out to have some poisonous mushrooms. What follows is me stumbling around in the dark, trying to clear the toxins from my system.
Another 3 AM deal only this time, no easing back to sleep. At least not until a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off!!! Why? WHY does my body do this? What purpose is being served by this infernal inability to FREAKIN sleep through the night?!!! There weren’t even any insights, epiphanies, or AH HAs either. Just me, mulling over bull@#$% I already know and growing more frustrated with each flop to the other side of the bed or glance at the clock.
It seems I’ve been running through a warren of rabbit holes – a.k.a. RESISTANCE. Allowing other’s to subtly re-direct my path. I am suddenly very angry with it all and quite fed up. Which leads me to this – What am I going to do about it? Do I shrink, withdraw, slip back into living so other people are happy? I love them, shouldn’t I want to do whatever it is in my power to support their happiness? I feel as if a part of me is dying. A part I was just getting to know and love.
OMG. This month is the anniversary of my dad’s death. No wonder I’m all screwed in the head.
I didn’t know my dad. I knew he existed. I knew he and my mother didn’t separate until 1974. He was in the military. I think, between deployments, he and I may have spent the first year of my life together, then for a year, we’d meet up occasionally when he was home on leave. We got to live together as a family for three straight years before the big break. I knew what he looked like, how he sounded. I have faint memories of the smell of his aftershave and how it felt to climb on him while he sat in his easy chair trying to watch television. I remember a couple of the cars he drove – my favorite was a chocolate brown, might have been a 70 something Plymouth Fury or maybe a Duster. What I remember most about it was he had it slightly jacked up in the back as was popular back then – looked pretty boss with the shinny hub caps. I remember that I didn’t see much of him after the separation, I was seven. I found out he’d married again when he sent me a picture of him at the altar with his new bride. I found out they’d had a son a year or so later when my dad and his new family stopped through town to visit some friends of theirs. He didn’t come to my high school graduation. He called and talked to me once as he was going through his second divorce. I was in college. He did come to my college graduation. He came to my wedding. I don’t remember hearing about his third marriage, just remember meeting her and her sons on a trip through the city he was living in. My most vivid memories are of getting a phone call from my brother’s mom, telling me that my dad was in the hospital; then a few days later, walking into the ICU and the nurse stopping me, telling me only family was allowed in there and I had to explain that I was his daughter. I had to tell a stranger that the man who lie in that bed, slowly being consumed by bone cancer, was my father. No one, not even his current wife had mentioned that my sister and I existed. When we walked through the curtain, my dad was in bed, his wife on one side, a friend of his on the other. I don’t remember her speaking to me. I do remember my dad’s friend asking me who I was. Again. I had to explain to a stranger, that I was that man’s child. I don’t remember much of the visit after that. I wouldn’t regain any memory until the day we missed his funeral. Weather delays and a lack of correct information. It was again, my brother’s mom who informed me my dad had died, it was my Uncle (my dad’s brother) who had information regarding the funeral. My father’s third wife’s sons (from a previous marriage) are listed first as his surviving children in his obituary, with my brother, sister and me following. I wouldn’t have known that had it not been for my brother’s mom sending me copies of the funeral program which she in turn received from my dad’s third wife. I remember being at my dad’s house that evening after the funeral, once we’d finally made it to town; none of his other family was there – it was just me, my Uncle, and my sister. Everyone else in the house were related to my dad’s third wife. I remember feeling quite out of body, surreal…especially when she showed us pictures of my dad lying dead in the hospital bed.
It would be a month or so later, after an argument with my husband that I would finally openly mourn my dad’s death. I found myself on my knees with grief, crying in my mother’s dining room. Finally able to admit that he had died and I couldn’t remember if he loved me. My “relationship” with my father is the one wound I haven’t healed from. I jokingly refer to the situation as the one piece of baggage I carry – I liken it to a stylish piece of Hartmann, carry-on luggage. I use Hartmann because it is some of the finest made luggage you can buy these days. This bag has to be sturdy, I’ve been carrying it for 40 years and at no time have I had to worry about it falling apart. I wish I could put it down.