I still lay awake at night wondering if he is thinking about me like I do about him. And I doubt it. I am not quite sure why I put so much importance on this person who decided just over a few days, over a few months or over a fortnight that it was suddenly ok to just throw everything material that you wanted to keep in the back of your pickup truck and leave behind the memories, the people, the emotion that comes from over fifty years of a life together.
People I am quite sure are tired of listening to me talk about him or maybe reading nuances of him in my stories and in my blogs, my poems. He was important to me. He was my dad.
I wonder really how different would my life have been would if I still had him in my life. A lot of my mistakes and my behaviour especially in the last few years absolutely are attributable to his departure. Absolutely I could look back and go – yeah I wasn’t happy then.
I was in a bad place. The hole that he left inside of me when he left I tried so hard to fill with maybe people I shouldn’t of counted on. Or maybe filled with stuff that wasn’t good for me. Done for me. But I let it happen because I was so afraid of one more person leaving my life.
He absolutely inspired my writing if only because I had so much hurt bottled up inside of me. I couldn’t talk to my mom. I couldn’t talk to my sisters. My writing was just this natural outlet for me. I formed relationships I am quite sure were solely based on where I was in my life after he left. Does that invalidate the relationship? Does that make it wrong? Or me needy? I don’t think so.
I’ve grown immensely as a person. I am stronger. I am going to say perhaps selfishly; that I’m positioned probably at the head of this family and that’s not to slight my two sisters. But just to show how far I feel I have leapt into a role to take care of my mom, to fill this hole that dad left. And there was a lot of growing up for the three of us. It’s so true when people say ‘you don’t pick your family’. I honestly don’t think we would be friends outside of this blood circle that we share. But I will say post dad, and in our new normal we’ve connected. And that connection is real. That connection is strong. And that connection cannot be taken away.
Every family has issues they’ve got to work through and it’s almost an accomplishment when you look at the enormity of what my sisters and I, my mom and my beautiful niece struggled through. And came out on the other side of. Came out on the other side of.
I don’t forgive him. At one point I had so much hate inside of me. And I’ve cried so many tears over him. But if I were to stand back and ask ‘what did you teach me old man’. From all of this what can I take away? I’ve met some really good people who do think that I am all that, who do believe in me. I think I’ve set free some pieces of me that maybe I wouldn’t have ever shown to anyone.
But the real me I don’t know. I don’t know. I am not a chameleon. I am not this person who changes and morphs into someone different every time they are with someone different but I don’t quite think who I am today is necessarily who I am going to finish being when all is said and done.
I’ve stopped writing and I have started again. I stopped because of him and I started because of him and I continue because of me. That’s a good thing. I don’t have a lot of roots left anymore. I don’t have a lot of true deep, meaningful friendships but the ones that I do have they’re real. The roots that I do have; they’re starting to lay their seeds into the deep, brown rich earth and they are going to get stronger. And they are going to get bigger. And they are going to be that mighty oak that I thought I once was a branch of and was taken from me.
I am the seedling.