Father's Day is right around the corner and many families are preparing for church, family dinners or a great time at the house. For me on the other hand, Father’s Day is a tough day for me to encounter due to the constant reminder that my father is no longer here. Nine years ago on June 17th, my dad passed away unexpectedly. I remember getting the call from one of my younger brothers like it was yesterday; I was in such disbelief. I even thought it was a joke but I had to think "who would joke about death?" So many thoughts ran through my head that I could not process and once I processed what was said, things continued to go downhill. I was very much in shock and my emotions did not set in until I saw my uncle in tears. At that moment I lost it, my father was really gone.
Two years before my dad passed away, we had a heated argument. To this day, I could not tell you what we were even arguing about, however, the last words I said replayed in my head over and over again. I remember telling my dad that I hated him and that I never wanted to speak to him again. I did not think he would have listened to me because I was 13 years old, hurt and angry. So for years, having him pass away so abruptly and my last words being “I hate you”, ATE ME ALIVE. The buried guilt within myself made me angry and emotional. I even buried the feelings I had for my dad prior to him passing even deeper. The relationship I had with my dad was not the best due to his lack of involvement throughout my life. He was pretty touch and go until our argument. He would pop up at random dance recitals, random doctors appointments and stop by sometimes for good grades but it wasn't enough.
As a child, I wanted and needed more but my father was not capable or decided not to be capable of fulling those needs and wants. I could not understand how a parent could go months or even years without seeing their child. I could not understand how my father could not see that I needed him. So many unanswered questions rambled through my brain. If I knew what I knew now, things could have gone a lot differently; so I believe. It is not until we become adults that we start to see are parents as human beings. As children we see our parents as these perfect individuals. Everything they say is right and their imperfections are nonexistent. My dad was not perfect and while I am not excusing him for his actions, I am learning to accept my fathers imperfections. Although I am not 100 percent sure why he decided to not be in my life, I can assume he wasn't ready or he felt he could not live up to the fatherly duties I expected from him. I am accepting that he made the mistake of missing out on so many great things. As much as it hurts, this is my way of healing and processing not having my father around.
I am not sharing this to make you all feel bad for me or feel bad for celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday. I am sharing my story so that anyone that may be experiencing what I went through as a child to try and see their fathers (or mothers) imperfections and meet them where they are; accept them for them. It is a very adult thing to do as a child but it could heal you from so much pain. Pain that you don't want to harbor as an adult because it affects you more than you can imagine. Life is too short to hate someone or shut them out because they are not meeting our expectations and just because you accept them does not mean you have to be the best of friends. Accepting someone for who they are protects you and allows you to be at peace. I am no expert so if you disagree it is okay, not everyone will agree or feel strong enough to do so but if I can share my experience and help one hurting soul out there my job is done.