This photo (of me and my dad) was taken by Jason last year at Sachuest Point in Rhode Island. I can't remember where my baby was...was Jason pushing both boys in a stroller while taking this?
Dear Dad;
I know that I wrote you a tribute last year on here (and maybe it's just because I can't get my act together to get something out to you in the real mail on time)....I hope you don't mind.

I don't know what it's like to be a dad, or even a man, but I do know that it's different than being a mom. I mean, beside the whole giving birth part (which is no small feat). It's just different. Sure, today gender roles are changing or less defined, and some families have 2 dads and some 2 moms. But I digress. Now that I'm married to a father, I can see that (in general) there are different pressures on men than women. They feel a biological or societal pressure (or maybe some of both) to provide for their families.  

I just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the fact that you (and mom) worked incredibly hard to provide for us. The coolest part about it is that you both always followed your passion. I knew that you loved accounting and then you started writing books in your spare time and loved that too. You always supported mom in her career whether she was nursing, going back to school, starting a bed and breakfast, or opening a cafe.

It was hard with you commuting so far to work when we moved to Rhode Island. I missed you, but I knew that you were doing what you had to do. I remember when mom got sick and you quit your job to be closer to home. You took a large pay cut to start teaching college students, but it showed me that nothing was more important to you than all of us.

Thanks for all that you gave me (and continue to give) and all that you taught me just by being you.
Happy Fathers' Day!
I love you--

this picture cracks me up! The blue suit, and the tie!


Questions for my mother Part 4: Why did you push me away?

Yesterday I was going through some dusty files and found an old letter from my mom sent in 2004. It was a note apologizing for how she had acted the night before on the phone. I don't remember the conversation, but she said that she had no right to 'judge my decisions'. She was coming out to California for a visit and I was only going to be able to spend a few days with her because I had just gotten a new job and had to travel for a training. I had to be at the training, or forfeit the position.

Damnit. If I'd only known then that my time with her would be so limited... I remember leaving my aunt's house to head out of town. My mom was standing on her deck watching me as I got into my pick-up to drive away. There was this sad, ominous  look on her face that is forever imprinted in my mind. Two months later she called with the news that her cancer was back (she'd been clear for 16 years) and metastasized.

The letter is typed on blue paper (I think it's the only thing she ever sent me typed) and signed "Love you enormously, Mom" at the bottom in blue ink. Her words were supportive and loving. I sobbed in the garage for a while after I found it. Guilt. Anger. Sadness.

I long to truly know my mother. Everything changed when I had children myself. I think about her constantly. There are so many things I want to talk to her about. There are so many things I feel like I understand about her now. I wish I could share them with her.

I wonder why she pushed me to be fiercely independent so soon. I know that I was challenging. I can see myself in my own children, and after spending my days with a sensitive, intense, argumentative preschooler, I understand how hard it is. But I grieve the fact that we didn't have a closer relationship when I was young. I wish she had held me tight more often and told me that I was okay.

She did the best she could at the time, and I don't blame her. It is so hard to be a mom.
I always knew she loved me.

I'm just really feeling the loss.

I know...I have to be 'grateful for the time we had together' etc., etc.... but you know what? sometimes I NEED to feel the loss--deep  in my bones and in the hollow of my throat. Sometimes I want to wail like a banshee and then curl up on her lap and let her rub my head. Sometimes I just want my mom.

Thanks for listening...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...