Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's day: 1918-1988.

I read tributes to fathers, and can only feel sadness thinking about my father He was emotionally restrained, not to say repressed. His affective life was primarily through a symbiotic relationship with my mother. It wasn't that he was cold, but that he wasn't able to express it, except through a droll, ironic sense of (black) humor. I don't recall his ever telling me he loved me. We never really bonded. There were some awkward camping trips, fishing in the Ozarks. I was a puzzle to him, too much like my mother, which I think inhibited him. I imagine him squeezed between my volumnious grandfather, who everyone knew as "Papa," his athletic, musical older sister, and my mother. He never found room for his own emotional life to take root

He just didn't know how to respond. The weeks before my mother died were probably the closest we ever were--and by then, he was seriously ill. He died a year to the day after my mother's funeral. He didn't abuse me, didn't do or say things to make me feel ashamed. He liked that I wrote poetry and loved art. But from the earliest I can remember formulating such ideas... I knew that whatever I did with my life... I did not want to be like my father. I do have his sense of humor... and it's no small sense of comfort to me. Thanks, Dad... so far so good.... so far so good... so far so good

No comments:

Post a Comment