originally posted on the resting VSOM
My poor dead dad. I’ve blogged him to death. I’ve written him to death too as he was the theme of all my angsty teenage poetry and short stories. The recap: my parents divorced with I was 9. He died when I was 13 of complications of Type I diabetes. He was also bipolar and very unreliable. He was pretty bad at being a dad, and then he died. But 20 years is a long time to work things out. I care about him a lot now and I see more clearly the circumstances under which he was working and failing as a father.
Mostly, I haven’t had a father. No surrogate fatherly figures. I have older brothers but luckily they were just brothers and not fathers to me. No bishops or home teachers or Sunday School teachers who felt called to take me under their wing in order to be a “father” to me. When I was pumped with hormones as a teenager, I thought I was very pitiable. My problems were due entirely to my fatherlessness. It was the state that was so bad, I didn’t even know to mourn him as a person until my 20s.
I don’t know if I like it or hate it now, but I don’t mind my fatherlessness one bit. I’ve got issues, no doubt about it, but I know just as many people with living fathers, involved fathers that have issues too, even some of them have the same issues that I do. I don’t know how those people got screwed up but clearly no-dad status isn’t the only thing that will make you need a therapist.
I hope everyone has two parents that love them. Or at least like them. I hope they have parents that pay attention. I hope everyone can know their parents. But if they don’t, life’s not so bad. I mean, you might turn out like me.
I celebrate my dad this father’s day. Maybe I’ll build him a shrine. With a viola, some hiking gear, some microwaved bologna and a sign that says: “You didn’t really screw me up that bad, Dad. I love you.’