I'm not whining and would despise pity when I say I don't know my dad. I simply don't know him. And it's not that I'm not welcome in his home. I could make the four hour drive; I know the way. He and his wife, Lou, would politely invite me into their split level living room to sit on the comfy couch, offer me a coke, and Lou would talk about the weather and the latest news on television. She might even mention my half brother and sister whom I wouldn't recognize standing behind me in the Kroger buying United Dairy Farmers icecream. I think I held my brother as a newborn, but he's probably changed- a whole lot since infancy.
The last time I visited my dad's house was in the sixth grade, long before I could drive. Is it just that I'm out of the habit of dropping by?
The whole painful F.D. ordeal begins for me early in the week the moment I stand in Target to make my Father's Day card selections. It's a cake walk to pick a card for Uncle Laughter, my mother's husband, my father-in-law, and my husband. I enjoy friendship with these charming men. On the other hand, I can never find the right card for my dad, so I never buy one. Does that make me a horrible person? How could I possibly buy a dad card for someone I don't have a clue about? When I sit near him in my sister's kitchen or at a funeral every five years or so, he's silent and sullen. Tips from Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People don't work with him.
Why is that I can hang with my quiet cousin Nadine in a constant vegetative state more easily than my dad? One difference is that I can tenderly touch Nadine.
Before Buck and I had children, I avoided Father's Day altogether. When the sun rose, I'd pull the covers over my head. After getting out of bed, I'd keep busy all day to escape nagging thoughts. Oh, and I'd make an appointment with my therapist on the following Monday well in advance.
On the other hand, my husband has the most intimate of daddy relationships with our children. Buck plays and works with the boys. He spoils his daughter endlessly. His great admiration for his little people is evident in the visible sparkle in his eyes. His life centers and winds around his children and myself like lush green ivy on a professor's brick house. How could I be so lucky? So blessed?
And I see that same twinkle in Buck's father's eyes for his son, our children, and even me.
Most importantly, my heavenly Father's eyes shines brightly over me. I have all I need. In fact, I have need to celebrate this holiday.
However, even with all I need, Father's Day haunts me like an Dicken's apparition reminding me of something mournfully unresolved. There's still time, but without a starting point beyond prayer, I'm at a loss. I wonder how much longer?