“Give yourself time, Arnold. It gets better, but, Arnold, it never goes away. You can work longer hours, adopt a son, fight with me, whatever… It’ll still be there. It becomes a part of you, like learning to wear a ring or eyeglasses. You get used to it, and that’s good. It’s good because it makes sure you don’t forget. You don’t want to forget him, do you?”
~~ Harvey Fierstein,
Torch Song Trilogy
Today would have been my father’s eighty-fifth birthday.
Gosh, I miss him.
I still forget even though he’s been gone over ten years. I will hear a joke that I know he would like and I reach for the phone. Or there is some repair around the house that I know he would be able to help us with and…. It hits again. He’s gone.
He was so cool when I was a kid. Making huge train sets in the basement, joining Indian Guides with me, making elaborate toys; a clubhouse and a flying saucer that he could push around while I was inside it. What a Dad!
Then in my teens things soured. Bad.
But it didn’t stay that way. At one point something happened and he needed to come stay with me for a week or so. He came with tears on his face and I was just there for him. I don’t know where the strength came from, but it was there. Love. I forgot about the bad years. The ones where he tried to force me to be something other than who I was.
That time he stayed with me was most amazing. And when he left he apologized! He said he’d spent too many years wishing I was someone besides who I was and not being grateful for who I was.
It was very powerful.
From then on we were magick again. Wondrous.
We fought! LOL! We got mad. But who doesn’t? You fight with those you love.
When I split up with the mother of my child, Dad totally supported me.
When I came out, he supported me.
He built my front porch steps. When I feed the birds, it is his bird feeder that he made for me that I fill. In so many ways he made me that man I am today. I want to make him proud of me.
I could not have had a better Dad.
And Dad is not gone. He is in me. He is a part of me. He lives on in me.
Thank you, Dad.
Thank you for being my Dad.
I love you forever.