Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Father's Day #2

Hi Babe,
We just endured our second father's day without the most important member of our family. On the surface, the day was just fine. But the emptiness was pretty much unbearable. If you had been here, you could have seen your daughter's first dance recital--perhaps the cutest thing ever, all those little girls (19 of them) in tutus and tap shoes, approximating the routine. We laughed, we cried--and in 4 minutes, it was over. You would have been so proud of her, and it would have meant so much to have you there, by my side, sharing the knowledge that our little girl is clearly superior to every other child in the universe.

Your lovely aunt and uncle made the long drive to be there, and took us all out to dinner between performances. It was generous and caring of them, and we are so lucky to have *one* small part of your family that really seems to understand what family means, and how to help us keep going without you.

Your daughter is four-and-a-half going on 14 now, and she really needs you. She has your appreciation for cars--she can recognize a Honda Element, a Subaru WRX, and umpteen other cars, and correctly attribute them to the folks we know who drive one. She is fascinated by insects, the moon, and gardening (god help me!) and she loves to cook. If you were here, you could cook with her. And snuggle with her--she's still a very snuggly girl. And you could give her that steady, accepting love that you provided so well--the kind I'm desperately afraid that I don't know how to give. She's a beautiful, amazing, quirky, funny girl, and it breaks my heart to have her miss out on knowing you, and sharing with you all the things that would bring both of you such delight.

I guess what I'm trying to say is we miss you. We love you. We think of you, talk of you, and celebrate you always. But it's just not enough, is it.

Love,
Your wife

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7 Comments:

At 10:40 AM , Blogger Julia said...

I am sorry. I wish it was enough.

I am glad you had family with you. First dance recitals are a hoot.

 
At 12:31 PM , Blogger Snickollet said...

Thought of you and your girl and your husband a lot on Sunday. Hope your husband and John were together, somewhere, somehow.

 
At 7:14 PM , Blogger timna said...

small hugs. you will provide the constant loving because you have to and somehow I believe he'll help you.

 
At 7:06 AM , Blogger OTRgirl said...

Beautifully said. Sigh.

Your daughter sounds amazing and I'm sorry she doesn't have her Dad as a companion (in any tangible way).

 
At 6:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When It’s not about you. . ."
or "What they'd say if they could"

When it’s not about you, you’ll see how much we loved our son. The dreams we had for him. the sacrifices we made. . .the years we invested. Of course we didn’t love him like you. We were never meant to. You are his wife. We were his parents. It was our job to raise him to be the kind of man that had those intrinsic qualities that you loved. It was also our job to make sure he was responsible and had the tools to provide for himself for we knew we wouldn’t always be there. Our job wasn’t easy, often unappreciated and sometimes painful but we persevered. We must have done something right to produce the man you loved so much.

When it’s not about you, you’ll know that we never valued our son for material achievements if they were not what he sought. Our concern ended at his ability to support himself and family. We thought you knew that. We thought he also celebrated with unrestrained joy the attainments of others as we did. We never knew him to be petty or small.

When it’s not about you, you’ll realize how much we tried to love you. Before we knew you, we loved you because he did. It was sad when we realized you would never return that love. That our customs and traditions meant nothing to you. We were so happy over the birth of our granddaughter. But when it was time to relax the parental role and slide blissfully into benevolent grandparents, that too was trampled on. At some point we realized that everything that we did or said was filtered though the lens of your disapproval. You reduced our granddaughter to a mere gift giving opportunity. We hoped things would get better, but then tragically he fell ill and died.

When it’s not about you, you’ll recognize the depths of the hurt and rage we feel. Parents are not supposed to bury their children!!! Our devastation is made all the more complete by your attitudes towards us. When we reach out to you through our grief, blindly hoping that somehow if we all hold fast we will survive intact. You reject us. To anyone who will listen, you spew your venom against us. We didn’t love our son, you claim. Our attempts to deal with his death are phony. In the depths of our own despair, we tried to comfort you with the only real truth we’ve found in this life. Not only were we spurned,, you claimed your grief is more legitimate because it can’t be boiled down to phony Christian platitudes. Do you think any Christian truly wants to say those things, knowing the subsequent ridicule and contempt that will be heaped on him? It is no accident that all the disciples were martyred. Yet, we cared enough for you to say them. Religion is finding truth. Truth isn’t subject to interpretation, it simply is. Therefore, we don’t have the luxury of constructing and reconstructing our beliefs in more appealing and self serving ways. We can only tell you life’s truths.

When it’s not about you, you’d realize our counsel of moving on was not about our lack of feeling, it is about our concern for our granddaughter, for you and because it is what he would have wanted. You have so many others who need you, your students, your daughter, your family, your friends. At present, they are getting the short shrift. They have become little more than fodder in your insatiable quest to wring the last drop of pity from the universe. It is sad and he would have been so disappointed.

When it’s not about you, you’ll see the arrogance of your belief that only you can know or properly mourn the man our son was. Maybe then we can be included. Maybe Father’s Day, you could call and recognize our pain or ask if we could help fill the void in our granddaughter’s life. You have his daughter, a part of him. You can feel her arms around you each day. We have nothing. The distance you speak of is not our lack of feeling but rather our attempt at emotional preservation. It is hard to continually inflict on ourselves your thinly concealed disdain.

When it’s not about you, maybe everyone will heal.

 
At 10:20 AM , Blogger yatima said...

Wow, anonymous, that was incredibly cruel.

Dorcasina, my heart goes out to you.

 
At 11:28 AM , Anonymous Yankee T said...

I'm sorry. About all of it. Especially the "anonymous" comment. That's why I banned anonymous comments from my blog-if you don't have the nerve to sign it, it doesn't belong there. Thinking of you, as ever.

 

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