Hey, Fam. Full disclosure. (Long Post)
Father’s Day was never a big holiday with me and Daddy.
He was never much a holiday guy, to be honest. And since we’re walking in truth…Daddy was only in the house with us until I was seven before he and momma separated.
I don’t even remember making him a Father’s Day card out of construction paper and macaroni (Momma says I did) or celebrating Father’s Day with him on “his” weekend after he and momma divorced.
Then, after I turned double digits, the whole notion of Father’s Day gets even more fuzzy. See, Daddy and I went through multiple, long periods of being estranged.
Thanks to my parents’ nasty divorce, it was imposed at first. Then, when I got old enough to choose to see him, Daddy was always working or traveling or MIA – a coping mechanism he brought back from Vietnam that he didn’t just inflict on me.
After a while, I got used to him not being there and when he would drop back into my life like nothing had happened, I would just follow his lead and pick up where we left off.
And this worked for us.
Until it didn’t.
Fam, I don’t know what happened. But after I hit my 30s, I started telling Daddy about himself. I was never disrespectful, but for the first time, I was honest with him.
Honest about how worried and angry it made me when he disappeared for months at a time.
Honest about how I still needed him in my life as his grown ass daughter.
Honest about why he made it so damn hard to love him.
And Daddy would listen. Then…he’d go back to his same MIA behavior. And I’d wait for him to return.
We never talked about where he went or what he was doing during these hiatuses. Come to think of it, I never asked. But the last time Daddy returned, it stuck.
I’m not sure the exact date or what prompted it, but sometime in 2015, Daddy came back to me.
He consistently called me “Just to check in.”
He texted me rants about politics and religion and pictures of the food he cooked — The man was always cooking…
He even tried to remember birthdays! One time, Daddy didn’t even know it was his own rotation around the sun until I called him. LOL!
For four wonderful years, including a visit out to see me one blazing hot week in Cali, Daddy was present for me. And I don’t remember wishing him Happy Fathers’ Day once.
Maybe he wanted me to call him up on the official day and make a big show of it instead of texting him Happy Father’s Day on my and my sister’s birthdays. (Which actually makes more sense if you think about it.)
But when Daddy was alive, he never made a big deal to me about it. So, I followed his lead.
But today, on the second Father’s Day since he passed away, I drank organic apple juice (Daddy’s favorite) and ate a carrot cupcake (My favorite – not pictured) with Daddy’s walking stick by my side.
And for the first time… in a long time… I didn’t cry.
Rest in power, Buffalo.
Love you always,
Your Heartbeat, Monie.