I didn’t forget to call, I just remembered to not call.

I’ve never really had a relationship with my Dad, in fact for most of my life; he hasn’t been around, until recently.  Don’t get me wrong, we both tried to have a relationship, but something just got in the way every time, we got in the way.  I would say something, he would misunderstand and flip out and that would be it for another few years, and so it went on, until 18months ago.  18 months ago I decided that this time it would work.  I can’t really tell you why this time was different, I just decided that it was, and together we’ve started to make it happen.  It was the most honest I’d ever been with myself and my Dad, I expressed how I felt and why it never worked.  I heard him say words that I don’t remember hearing before “I’m sorry, I love you”.   The blame had disappeared, there was no need to hold onto the lack of him anymore, there was no anger, there was no regret, there was just Now. 

My relationship with my Dad has been evolving slowly; we’ve met face to face a couple of times and spoken on the phone.  We had lunch on his birthday a few weeks ago with my brother and his wife, my brother grew up with him, so they have a different relationship.  Was it like having a normal birthday lunch with your Dad?  I wouldn’t know, I don’t think so.

I think the most amazing thing about all of this is seeing part of me in him, that I have his genes.  I really do have a Dad, a parent in the living world.  We have the same eyes and chin, now I know where I get my baby’s bottom from (on my chin silly).  He jumps to and from different voices all the time, he’s joking so often and laughing, I’m laughing with my Dad…I’m laughing with my Dad. 

So is that it now?  Do I suddenly have a great relationship with my Dad and were our past lives together just a bad dream?  I wish it was that simple, but everything needs work, every time we do something new we have to put effort into it.  When we make a change in our lives, we must keep working on that change until it becomes natural for us, unconscious for us.  How long does that take?  Well, as long as it takes.

So did I get angry when I got a text from my Dad making sure his Father’s Day card was in the post?  Sure.  How could he not understand that you can’t miss someone when you’ve never really had them?  Why would Fathers Day suddenly mean something to me when it’s meant nothing for most of my life?  Then I realised, this was just him getting excited, for the first time, he may actually be recognised by both his children on Father’s Day instead of just his son.  To me, this was my chance to phone up and apologise for why he didn’t get a card or call from me, I’ve been busy, I forgot, it’s in the post…all those normal excuses one may give to one’s Dad.   

This year Fathers Day happened in my life, maybe as excuses but it still happened…that’s why I made that call 18 months ago.  

I have to go now; I promised my Dad I’d call him for a catch up…

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~ by Secret Diary of a Good Girl (emergise) on June 26, 2009.

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