Thursday, December 23, 2010

R.I.P. Daddy

Daddy Charles  12-23-1928 to 08-21-2002
I knew who my dad was but did not really know him.

I always wanted to be daddy's little girl and have my dad tell me how much he loved me, how pretty I am, how smart I am, and how proud he is of me. Sadly, it never happened. As an woman I can see that being affirmed by your father is crucial.

Today is my dad's birthday. I can't tell you how many pictures I drew and birthday cards I purchased for him that he never received. 

I remember my dad being very tall, handsome, quite, smoking either a pipe or a cigar. He worked for VA Hospital for over 32 years. I was always told he worked with crazy folks. He loved music and had a music collection to die for. He always drove a Cadillac and purchased a new one every 2-3 years.. My dad wasn't very talkative or affectionate. As a teenager he didn't take any interest in me or my life that I know of. But, there was always a gift for me on my birthday and Christmas waiting for me at my grandmother's house.

I was always happy when my father came to pick me up. I loved my daddy so much. I would only be happy for a short time because he would drop me off at his mother's house and then leave. If he was home there was little or no interaction with him. I spent most of my time with his mother who loved me dearly.  

I know he was a ladies man because my grandmother always complained about all the women that he had and how none of them were any good, including my mother.  My grandmother didn't think anyone was good enough for her son.

Did I mention that my dad was a momma's boy and lived with his mother until he married in 1987. The woman he married was a few years older than me with two daughters that he raised.

I have no pictures of me and my dad together. I am his only child. I don't remember my dad holding me, talking to me, reading to me or spending quality time with me. I said, I don't remember.  However, that does not mean it did not happen.

Isn't your dad suppose to be the first man you fall in love with?

Every year I purchased a Father's Day card for my father. When he died I had 25 Father's Day cards that I signed, addressed and never mailed. I wanted so much for him to be the King of my heart.

So, I had no father at my Middle School, High School or College graduation. No picture with my dad celebrating my accomplishments.

No dad walking me down the isle when I got married.

My children and I attended my father's funeral. His co-workers were shocked and surprised that he had a daughter and grandchildren. Many told me he never mentioned he had a child, never showed one picture. They all said, "when I saw your son walk in I knew that had to be his son or someone closely related." It 's funny how genes mix. My son looks just like my father.

As I sat through the service, people praised my father and talked about what a wonderful man he was. There were many testimonies of how he changed their lives and  he was the person they could always count on. Some people cried and could hardly get through their speeches as they talked about the love they had for him and told funny stories about his love for music, cowboy movies and playing bid whist.

After it was all over, I left the cemetery wishing that I had the opportunity to love and know the man that his co-workers loved and adored.

I don't know all the things that happened with my dad, my mother or my grandmother. When you are a child you make assumptions about what you see and think you know. When you become an adult you realize there was lot of missing facts. I still deal with issues of rejection and abandonment based on the relationship or  (lack of) with my father. However, I love my daddy.

 Queen of Hearts

Thursday, December 16, 2010