I went to bed last night in the slough of despond. Do not ask me why. These things just happen.
I had all those horrible dreams. My house was huge and filled with stuff and rooms I'd forgotten I had, and one group of people after another descended upon me to stay for an undetermined time and I kept looking for more eggs to cook and the dishes piled up and up and up and there were two kitchens, both filled with the detritus of meals made to feed all of these people and bedclothes were wadded up everywhere and towels, too, and I was simply going insane.
Everyone was going to go out for a musical performance and they all looked so fine and fancy in beautiful clothes and I could not find a damn thing to wear and finally, I just said, "Look, I can't go. I'll stay here and clean up," because that's what I really wanted to do anyway.
Create some order out of chaos.
It's a beautiful morning but I am only about half an inch up the runway from the slough of despond.
I'm having heartburn. My heart burns.
Is it because it's Father's Day? Oh, who knows? Not me.
Facebook is filled with beautiful tributes to beloved fathers. Filled. My own children's tributes to their daddy, the man I married who is the best father I know. Lily's post about Jason, the best father in the world that my grandsons could have. Shayla's loving pictures of Billy and Waylon. The pictures of men I knew as a child, the fathers of my friends, some of them who were indeed incredible fathers, loving men, gentle men.
Maybe I should make my own post. Dig out a picture of my father, the biological one. I could entitle it, "My Old Dead Drunk Daddy."
Man, he sucked as a father. Didn't see him from the time I was five until I was thirty.
Or perhaps my stepfather. Entitle that one, "The Man Who Sexually Abused Me and Thus, Made My Life A Living Hell And It's A Fucking Miracle I'm Still Alive."
Well, those would be different.
Do I sound bitter?
Yes. Yes I do. and the bitterness is eating my belly this morning.
It's not that anyone is entitled to a good father. I mean, it would be nice but the truth is, not all men who father children are worth the title of father at all.
And then there ARE the good fathers. The great ones. The ones who do the work and are present and not afraid to show their love, who love the mamas, who definitely deserve the title. And even though I didn't have one of those, I gave one to my kids.
Best thing I ever did.
But I'm here to tell you that just because a man can get a woman pregnant, it doesn't mean he'll be any damn good at all at being a father. Some of the best fathers I know are stepfathers. Or gay men who want to be fathers so badly that they go to hell and back to become dads, many of them raising the children abandoned by the men who technically fathered them. Or transgendered men who, well, I can't even think about that without crying.
It's all about love, isn't it? And isn't it always?
Which is why, perhaps, I am sad today.
If your own daddy doesn't love you enough to stick around, it's really hard to believe that you're worthy of love. Even when you're old enough to know that the reasons he didn't stick around had nothing to do with you.
And if the man your mother married destroyed your innocence, your ability to feel safe in this world, it's hard to learn to trust in love even if you know that not all men are like that.
Well hell. This is the worst Father's Day post ever.
I'm just trying to find some meaning in my sadness. To define it, to allow myself to feel it while still being grateful for all the good fathers. The ones I know, the ones I've known, the ones I don't know. To create some order out of the chaos that my heart is in today.
I should get off my ass and go pick some blackberries to make a cobbler for my husband's Father's Day. He'll be returning home soon and I'll be so glad to see him.
Such a good man. Such a good father.
And the years of steadfast love he's shown me have done so very much to heal me of the damage done by those other men.
One more reason to love him and one more reason to feel sadness- that he's had to put up with a wife who was broken in places that people shouldn't be broken.
And yet, he has.
And because of that, I am still here, and as halfway sane as I am, living this life I never, ever could have imagined with so much love that sometimes I'm completely overwhelmed and gobsmacked by it all and it lifts me and sustains me.
Time to quit crying and go pick some damn blackberries.