I don’t have any conscious memories of my “real” father, other than his last name and a few snapshots. It was always awkward in grade school because I was the girl without a dad. It was the 70’s suburbia and single parents were an oddity. I’d go places with my mom and we would get stared at, like zoo animals on display.
I had a lot of issues with male authority figures throughout my life, and I’m sure it’s directly related to this. I struggled with teachers and peers especially. As much of a feminist I aspired to be, I found myself mute and more awkward than normal.
It wasn’t until I was nearly my son’s age that my mother remarried. I didn’t quite know what to make of having a male in the house. My whole life was full of estrogen power prior to that. I had my issues, especially in my teen years. He & I didn’t always agree about my appearance, especially when I would get all done up for shows, but it was normal you’re not going out of the house like that.
As I grew older, he really became my biggest cheerleader. When I moved into my first adult, post college place, he helped me hang pictures & decorate. He went with me when I bought my first 2 cars and helped me pick them out. He was also an accountant so we would talk shop a lot.
He died of colon cancer 20 years ago. I can’t believe how fast time flew by. It’s like he was just next to me, reading the New York Times, then I blinked and he was gone. I’ve had more time of him not being in my life than in it. The pain is still palpable. Not a single day goes by when I don’t think of him. December is the hardest, because it was his birthday, their anniversary & Christmas. Some of the sparkle is gone from that month for me.
When I was 15, I took my babysitting money and bought him a bunch of CD’s. I was so proud that I was able to buy him a gift. Granted some of it happened to be my music too (funny how that happened) but the sentiment was there.
I won’t recount all that has happened in the last 20 years, but I’ve done a lot of living. I don’t take my time upright for granted. I’m older now than he was then. I feel obligated to fill that time wisely. For him, for me, for us.