Father’s Day just passed… And honestly, before I got married, I had stopped celebrating this holiday. Not because I hate men but, because of the reminder that this day has for me that I no longer have a Daddy.
You see, my Daddy, well technically, my Godfather, but you already know that…. Raised me. He worked hard, sacrificed what would’ve been his “empty nest” for me. Like I said before, my God siblings are 14 & 15 years older than me, so they were clearly close to being out when I came along.
Now, I won’t sugar coat things and say that my Daddy was perfect, because he wasn’t. If I’m completely transparent, my father had a problem with alcohol. It ruled his life… and in some ways ruined his life. He was a BRILLIANT man with an outstanding mind. He was smart, quick witted and could be rather funny when he wanted to be.
But, the alcohol would turn him into someone I didn’t want to know. I have so many memories of him intoxicated. Some days I’d come home from school and he would already be passed out at our kitchen table from drinking. Other times, he’d come in late, after I’d gone to bed and I could hear him stumbling down the hall trying to make it to my parents bedroom without falling over.
The most vivid memory I have of him drinking was on my sister’s wedding day. I remember the night before the wedding we had the rehearsal dinner and my father showed up intoxicated but, he was “funny” drunk. He was pretty composed but, you could smell the alcohol on him and you would notice every now and then when he would practice the walk down the aisle that he was a little clumsy. But, that was nothing compared to the actual wedding day…
My father literally showed up at our house maybe 2 hours before the wedding and he was DRUNK. So drunk that my mother had to help him shower because he could barely stand. I remember my mom asking me to make a pot of coffee in hopes that if he drank some it would help get him out of his drunken stupor. My mom and I had to dress him from head to toe. He reeked of alcohol, it was like it was coming out of his pores that day. Meanwhile, my sister paced the house, peeking in from time to time to check on his progress and worried that he might not make it down the aisle with her that day. Finally, he got himself together enough to get in the limo with my sister and head down to the church. He did walk her down the aisle, but we prayed the whole time because he was definitely still a bit tipsy.
The instances with his drinking only progressed as he got older…. So much so, that I remember when he got a DUI for drinking and driving on the wrong side of the road. I recall us getting a call late one night from the police station and being told we had to come and pick him up because he had been charged and would not be able to drive home.
There are so many other memories I have of my dad this way, unfortunately…
I never found out why he drank, when it started or what kind of pain he was trying to numb with the alcohol… I never got to ask him because in the summer of 2001 he died from a massive heart attack…
And while it might sound completely crazy that I would miss my Daddy, given what I’ve shared in this post, I do. I miss my Daddy dearly. You see even though he had his struggles, he was still my Daddy. I was a spoiled child. I knew that even though he didn’t say it, he loved me. I was a twinkle in his eye. I miss him for the memories we didn’t get to have together. He wasn’t there physically for my prom, graduation, wedding, birth of my kids and it hurts.
It’s a double edged sword for me because I mourn the loss of my Daddy who raised me, and also for my biological father who never wanted anything to do with me because he was afraid of his momma. Losing my daddy hurt but, being rejected just because of your existence hurts more.
So, Father’s Day has not been easy for me since 2001. Having a husband, who is now the Father of our children, to celebrate Father’s Day with does help to take the sting away from the loss of my Dad, but he’s always on my mind.
What’s today’s lesson? Father’s Day is a beautiful celebration for those who still have their dads here physically… But, for those who’s daddies are gone for one reason or another it can feel lonely… So, love on your friends and family members who are daddy-less… Any maybe, if you’re generous share your dad with someone who’s missing theirs.
~ Peace, Love & Light