I probably should have written this post on Father's Day, but my sis-in-law, Antje came into town the night before and she, Fontanna (they're twins), and I had some catching up to do. So we stayed awake well into the morning talking. So yesterday I mostly wanted to be asleep anytime that I actually wasn't.
Father's Day hasn't always necessarily been a difficult day for me, but it has always been a reminder of what was lacking in my childhood. I can't say that I feel the empty hole of where a father should be now; mostly I wish my kid had another grandpa. My dad's not dead. I know who he is, and he knows who I am. At least, he knows I exist and we've had somewhat of a relationship over the years. I won't recount my father's misdeeds as a husband other than to say that there were other things of this world that he loved more than family at the time of my birth. My mom told him to choose between the two, and he moved his stuff out of the house after returning from the hospital when I was born that morning.
Over the years, I remember seeing him or hearing from him only when he needed something from us. Not to say that this is exactly the way it was; it's just what I remember. I also remember feeling sad on Father's Day because I had no father who would wear my primary craft proudly. But I do remember giving those crafts to my mom. She always seemed genuinely happy to receive them. My mom ungrudgingly sacrificed everything for her children. It was more appropriate to honor her on Father's Day anyway.
Nowadays I really struggle in my relationship with my father. I feel like he expects us to treat him like our dad, but he does absolutely nothing to warrant it. I constantly make it my goal to forgive him, but every time I feel okay about him, he does something that makes me angry again. It usually involves him taking advantage of how nice my mom is (she's still friends with him because she's a saint). And if any of her children have anything to say to him about it, his general attitude is "mind your own business". It upsets me greatly. I know I'm supposed to forgive him seventy times seven (Matt. 18:22), but it's hard when he seems not to care that he keeps screwing people over. I'm going to talk to my bishop about what I need to do to be right with the Lord about this. I just haven't done it yet.
I'm so glad that in spite of our lack of a positive male role model growing up, my brothers have become good husbands and fathers and my sisters and I (through trial and error) have found good husbands and fathers for our children. I attribute much of it to my mom. She taught me that no matter what I've done, I am still loved and I deserve to be loved. It took a really long time for that to stick with me, but it's probably one of the most important things I've ever learned. Thanks, Mom.
P.S. If this feels rushed (it does to me), it's because I have a howler monkey on my lap.