daddy issues

You Get What You Need

August 7, 2012

This is a photo of my father on what looks to be (based on candle count) his 10th birthday…

He only lived to see 27 more.

He was only five years older than I am at this minute – when he passed away.

I forget, all the time, how young he was when he died. I forget, almost every day, how young my mother was when she lost him.

I just thought about the fact that I wake up every morning believing I still have plenty of time to live my life – then I wondered how he felt when he realized his was going to be cut so short. I felt like a spoiled little bitch for wasting any moment he (and my mother) had given me. I have wasted too many. I bet he would not have wasted any.

So…Happy Birthday (in 11 minutes) and Goodnight Dad(dy). This Rolling Stones jam is for you.

I don’t smoke weed (I really don’t). But I’m pretty sure you did. If you were here, I’d make an exception. We could watch The Big Chill and dance in the kitchen together (I know Dee would love that).

P.S. I’ll be sure to sneak a beer or two in for you tomorrow. I mean, that’s what any respectable Daddy’s Girl would do (no offense mom, everyone knows I’m sort of a Mommy’s Girl too).

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Tiny Dancer

June 20, 2012

I’m not going to sack up and finish the seriously depressing Father’s Day post.

I’m just going to say this instead…

If my father was alive, he would not have been very impressed with my behavior on Father’s Day. I was so young when he died that I can’t really say I knew him, but I know enough to know he would not have cared about my self-inflicted migraine. He would not have cared how many days in a row I slept with my jaws completely locked. He would have dragged my sorry a$$ out of bed and we would have had some Father’s Day beers together.

And, if my father was alive, I think Almost Famous would be one of our favorite movies.

This would be one of our favorite scenes. I’m certain we would sing-a-long.

Happy belated Father’s Day Dad.

I’m sorry it took me a few days to come around.

Love,

Your Tiny Blunt-Banged Dancer

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Scars

February 8, 2012

My father died when I was four.

I don’t actually remember when he died. I honestly don’t remember losing him. I don’t even remember seeing my mother cry over what I know was, and still is, an unbearable loss – not only for her – but also for every person that ever knew and loved him.

I have always known, and just accepted, that he is gone.

For the past 32 years, I have kindly thanked the people who have offered their condolences when they realize my father is no longer alive. Most of the time, I quickly dismiss the conversation. I tell them it’s ok, everything happens for a reason, and that my mother and I are very lucky…that despite this loss, I have been loved so very much. We went to Disneyland every year. We made macaroni and cheese (with hot dogs of course). We wore matching pajamas and we did book reports. We went to Greece. We sang and danced in the living room and we swam on hot summer nights. I STILL get an Easter basket. Long story short, because of my mother…we NEVER fell apart. I am admittedly really hard on my mom (she can be a real pain in my a$$) – but she made cream of tuna on toast (the WORST dinner ever) fun. I dare you to try and feed your children that @#$%. Only a real woman, only a woman with some real fire in her belly could convince her little girl that meal is a treat – before they watch their favorite shows together.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized it wasn’t normal that I couldn’t remember anything about my father’s death. I spoke to a therapist (thank you mom – for letting me know – from a very young age – there is nothing embarrassing about asking for help) about this period of time and how it just seemed…blacked out. The therapist had small children of her own. Coincidentally, one of her children was the same age I was, when my father passed away. She told me something that comes to mind – at least once a day. She told me that her children’s father was one of the two most important people in their lives. And, if they were to lose their father, if he was to disappear, tomorrow – they would be wrecked.

While she did not expect me to remember every detail, she was certain I had buried the pain of that loss somewhere very deep. We talked for as long as I could stand talking about my dad, which truthfully, wasn’t much longer. Then she gave me some homework to do. She asked me to go to the cemetery. I had not been in months. Maybe even years.

It took me weeks to complete my assignment. I cried all the way there. I cried the entire time I was there. And I cried all the way home. It was as if someone had ripped the bandage off (of a huge wound I swore wasn’t even there in the first place).

I never thought I’d have to take a ride on this daddy issue rollercoaster right now, at this age, at this stage in my life. I’m still not really comfortable talking about it. At all. But…the more honest I am about the way it’s impacting my life, the more other women (and some men) have opened up to me about how their own losses and their own relationships – specifically with their fathers – are currently impacting them. And selfishly, I feel a little less alone.

I’m not brave enough to get more specific about how the loss of my father haunts me. Some of you know. Some of you will learn over time. And some of you will just hear me make really bad (although funny) jokes about it (sort of like the fluctuating size of my thighs).

For some reason, at this moment, I just had to get this off my chest. I already feel like I’m going to regret putting this blog post out in the universe…but I just could not keep it to myself.

So…thank you for listening.

And thank you Uncle Win, Chris, Tommy, Tony, Greg Miller, Tony Tamagni, Tony Santich, Dave Quirk and Gary Guenther. I know, throughout my life, if I ever needed anything at all – you would treat/love me like your own (even those of you I have not seen in years). I will be forever grateful for that. Your children, my best friends and family, are so incredibly lucky to have you – some of the most amazing men (yes, even you Tommy) I have ever met in my life.

I have so many other people I could thank for their love. But I’m drained. I want to stop writing about this now. Like the scars, the writing makes it real.

my father's headstone with fresh red flowers

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