I don’t often write off the cuff. For me to identify how I feel and be able to discuss it, verbally or in writing, usually takes me some time. But I am getting better with practice, and it’s a curious thing that is helping me. Timehop.
I resisted signing up because all of the re-posts and re-likes of things on social media can be a real bore to anyone other than the originator, and if my intention was not to share it, my preference would be to not be tempted to. But, I reasoned that I could do it just for me. One of my favorite things in the world is pictures because it’s so hard to remember all the details.
And I love the details. The little things matter so much more to me than the big things.
Similarly, G and I started keeping a one-sentence journal since the day we got married. One sentence – or a rambling of the goings on for the day – every day – for five years. Our first five years of marriage, it will be. What’s great is that each day is a page, and once we start writing on August 30, 2015, we’ll look back and see that August 30, 2014 it says… We tied the knot! Holding hands forevermore. And every time we write, we will be reminded of what we wrote in past years.
So, Timehop is not different, except I have years and years worth of pictures and posts that it keeps track of for me. And almost every day I tap in to see how absolutely adorable Levi was, or remember some great trip we took, or see a photo of some couch we were considering which we are totally glad we went with a different one.
But today, I saw a picture of my dad that was taken 2 years ago today. He wasn’t with me, because even 2 years ago, we were not speaking. But, he was with his granddaughter, Lilly. And it’s so obvious how much he loves and adores her. My dad smiles twice a year.
And I got really really sad.
OK, I cried.
So anyways, however much we love to look back at the highlight reel, and share all the great stuff with our friends on social media, there are hard days too. Hopefully there are far fewer hard days than there are amazing days. But, they’re there to remind us we are human and mortal and vulnerable.
I’m trying to be grateful. Per Rule #5.
But just because it’s a rule doesn’t mean I can hold steadfast 100% of the time. I’m not perfect. My rule for gratitude is a desire and a practice, not an absolute. So, right now, while I think about my dad and how he chose not to have me in his life, and — even more sadly — chose not to have his son and grandchildren in his life either, I’m having a really hard time feeling grateful.
Happy Father’s day to all the amazing dads out there – my wonderful brother included. I’ll humbly recuse myself from a father’s day post this year.
I am a bonafide daddy’s girl. Maybe I should say was. But in my heart, I grew up as, and will always be a daddy’s girl.
Growing up, he was my biggest champion. Always on my side. Always carrying me in his arms or on his shoulders. Pretty much until I was so tall that my feet were touching the floor. My mom used to like to tell him to quit carrying me around like a baby because I was SEVEN. It’s a wonder that I didn’t have physical developmental issues and can walk on my own and teach BodyAttack. LOL.
Anytime I got in a fight with my mom or brother, he was the first to see my logic and would take my side. And, in the event that I was wrong, he would explain it to me in a way I understood. We had a language. And it wasn’t all words, we had looks too. And funny faces. I could catch his eye from across the room and he would know exactly what I was telling him. My guess is this is the closest thing twins have to twin language.
So when I express my agony in having severed ties with my parents, what I really mean is that while the loss of my mother is hard to understand, the loss of my father is gut wrenching. I spend half of my emotional energy grieving in disappointment over his lack of compassion and complete disregard of what we shared for more than 30 years, and the other half trying to give him a pass for his behavior. I like to make him the victim of my mother. I like to think of my mother as the driver in all of their actions and thoughts.
But, as my therapist pointed out, and I can plainly see on my own when I’m not in denial, that unconditional love should come with a lot of conviction. He was my defender all my life, and now, when I need him to be on my side the most, he can’t be. That isn’t my mother’s fault. She didn’t write me an email that ended with the words best wishes.
If he really felt that my life choices were my own and that he should just be happy because I am, he has a voice to say so. And as long as he stays silent, our many shared languages will stay that way as well.
Stand up for your truths, no matter to whom you have to stand up against. Daddys, stand up for your baby girls. And always always always stand up for love.