If you read here regularly, you know enough about me to know why “Father’s Day” is a very problematic day to me…for I was in the situation that a woman gets thrust into when she for whatever reason is required to be “father” to her children, whether it is due to death or divorce, or the joining of two women, and each of them trade off time in that role.
As I was not out to anyone, least of all myself, there was the expectation by everyone that I would simply “know” what being a father meant…but really the best I could do was follow the example of my own father, watch what other males did, and try as hard as I could to be present in the lives of our children.
Alas, there was the unfortunate cultural baggage to deal with as well…something each generation discovers when their children grow up and become all-knowing teenagers and rip you to shreds with their withering rejection and depths of knowledge that “obviously” exceed your own!!
I have watched, read…and mourned as my life and history has disappeared before my eyes as it is recounted for others thru the pen of writers who leave me agog in the distance between their claims and what I have lived. I hold in my hands letters, cards, and other mementos that say one thing and links that cross the transom leading to “myth-making” and demythologizing that seem to suit the maker’s whim and need while utterly ignoring whoever might have been present, however unaccounted for…
…and certainly there is great territory that I now see which I could not see then…mourning and grieving is hard work, but real transformation/metamorphosis is even harder because it demands first and foremost accountability to some truth outside one’s self…and it is slow…3 steps forward and 2 back so often…
…believe me, you have not known horror until you devote yourself in the midst of deep pain and sorrow over the course of years to this transformation only to find it entirely dismissed because of the presence of a two step back moment!!
But this is the lot of a transperson…dissociated in childhood, high functioning and intelligent enough to hide it from everyone including herself, only to find everything shifts dizzyingly in middle age and a brand new person who was always there emerges to the surface offering life to everyone but bringing so much death in the process.
One is forced to know one’s self…or die.
One is forced to live one’s life…whether accompanied or abandoned.
And one is at last glad to find moments of authenticity stretching into entire days, becoming weeks and promising a solidness that may last for the few years left on this stage called life before my candle is blown out.
And that brings me full circle to “Father’s Day”…and an interesting unfolding of meaning and history and experience as writ in the poems from that day in 2014 and 2015…
…I will never write another one.
Any further writing on that subject is more than adequately covered by the ones whose memoirs cover the gamut from memory to gaslighting, to myth making and destruction…and telling the stories that make sense to them not only their past but their present…for what a joyous role it is to be present scapegoat for those unhappy and not realizing that many independent choices have led them to the place they are in and that of their own volition and doing…as long as I am there, that result can be shunted off onto me…and thus provide some measure of relief and comfort, and maybe even some space to grow and grow up…
for certainly this is the role of a parent if not a father…
I love no less than ever I loved…perhaps even more now than then…but I am far less invested in measuring my own self based on the things that are said to others about me…because I know myself now, better than I have ever known, and I accept the successes, the failures, all rolled into one and called “a life lived”.
I think that I get to some of these feelings, emotions, conclusions in the poems on this subject.
At any rate, it is clear to me that there are new puppies who eagerly drink, and a multitude of souls who have begun to call me mother, or spiritual parent…and my job is to be who I am, in joy and full participation…if those from the highways and byways come willingly to the table, I shall serve them what goods I have, and continue in my quest to be utterly emptied of anything left to give on my final breath’s exhalation.
I suspect there is much to be gleaned in these poems for any parent of adult children…but I cannot be the judge of that…only embrace the process of being a parent to those given to me…and rejoice as I see the tools I diligently sought to impart put to use…even if it is for my flaying, dissection, and repudiation.
God knows I love them…miss them…and wish that I could know and be known by them. But that option is not mine to know or even demand, for it is wrapped and concealed in the illusions and fogs of times future…
but maybe Christmas principles, lessons…perhaps Christmas visitations will give all Mr. Scrooges that reprieve we all wish for, but so few will embrace due to the fires of taking responsibly for being a chooser of free will in a determinative world…
And so to the poems…oh, I’ve many poems written to my children individually and collectively…but these three specifically concern the horrid day known as “Father’s Day”, and they are my only answer I shall ever make to the long horror show letter received on this day, or the articles about me that so deeply and mortally wounded my heart…I await with longing the day of resurrection that shall come.
Here are the links…if you are still here to click:
The Footprints Of Ghosts
Beside This Ring Of Ashes One Year Later
The Blossom of Memories of You (Father’s Day 2015)