WHERE’S THE JUSTICE…HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

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dad WHERES THE JUSTICE...HAPPY FATHERS DAYIt’s a struggle finding the right words for this Father’s Day because I still miss my dad so much, even though he passed when I was seventeen years old. Those are tender years between a father and his daughter, particularly if they are close. We were.

My brother died and left his son when my nephew was just seventeen, too. We’re close, Charlie and I. He lassoed my heart the day he was born and still owns it. He and his beautiful wife have two sons now and I watch with wonder and pride at what fabulous parents they are. But today is about the dads so I want to dedicate this blog to my nephew, Charlie… the very best dad I know. His wife and sons know it too and that’s the most important thing.

So Charlie, I told this story last year, but this year it’s for you because more and more, you remind me of my dad and that’s just one more thing I love about you.

DAD AND ME

I inherited more than my father’s coffee colored eyes. I also have his red hair, but in the interest of full disclosure, that part is with intent, if you get my meaning. Then there’s his nose, except planted in the middle of my face it wasn’t pretty. In my twenties, while playing racquetball, I hit myself with my own racquet, broke my nose, and it had to be surgically fixed. I took advantage and had the surgeon lop off the bulb on the end. Sometimes the universe solves a problem for you, even if it’s a painful solution.

But more important, I carry forward my father’s commitment to truth and his unshakeable idea of justice.  Let me be clear. This hasn’t always boded well for me. “Do you like my hair?” a friend might ask. “NO!” The truth comes marching out, as if called to action.

Seeing a crestfallen face might remind me to say, “It’s not bad, I just liked it the other way better. It’s hair…it’ll grow.”

Which is all to say, nuance is an afterthought for me. I’ve never seen truth as an act of malice, yet sometimes it seems that way. But my intent is never to hurt, and I’m surprised and chagrined when I realize I have. I stumble, apologize and genuinely cringe at the whole idea that I’ve inflicted a wound. But in the end, you can’t change the truth, can you?

Dad taught me to carefully consider the consequences of a truthful answer before proffering a query and my assumption has been that the world operates in the same manner. Sometimes I’ve considered a question for months before asking it, because let’s face it… there are things you just don’t want to know. I’d never ask, “Can you hear my thighs chafe when I walk?” I don’t know the answer to that, but it would demolish me to hear “YES,” so I let it slide.

Daddy went home suddenly, two weeks after my 17th birthday. There’s an injustice to that. Not only did a young woman-child lose the most important person in her life, he left before I could ask him, “If we aspire to honesty, how is it that ‘brutal’ and ‘truth’ can live together in the same sentence?”

I don’t recall many people being angry with Dad, yet people seem peeved with me too much of the time. I wish that in addition to his lovely brown eyes, I’d inherited his deft art of diplomacy.

I picture him every time I get in trouble for being straightforward. I’m grateful he still walks through my dreams and I can feel him smiling down on me. I’m thinking of him this Father’s Day because; the absolute unimpeachable truth is… I still miss him.

Do you have a favorite Dad story? Feel free to share it here.


 

12 thoughts on “WHERE’S THE JUSTICE…HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

  1. Beautiful tribute to your dad. I especially like the line about how he still walks through your dreams at night. I read somewhere that as long as we live, our parents will live because they live in us. I love that sentiment!

  2. In Switzerland for example, Father’s Day isn’t celebrated. I loved my Dad more than anyone else, but still never gave it another thought, why we do have Mother’s but not Father’s Day.
    My Dad passed away about 16 years ago, and until this day I keep him in my heart and in my head, sometimes asking me what HE would say to this or that situation…
    I love your blog post, Jacquie!

    • I never knew that they didn’t have a Father’s day in Switzerland! But sounds like you didn’t need a designated day to honor your Dad Raani. And I do the same thing…what would Dad do :) Thanks for stopping by

  3. I enjoyed your beautifully written, heartfelt Father’s Day tribute. I tried to think of a specific memory to share, but there are just too many. Most of them seem to center on camping and softball. Dad would help me practice my hitting, pitching, and fielding even after working all day long, saying, “Keep your eye on the ball.” Actually, he applied that to life in general, advising me to keep focused on my goals. Good advice, isn’t it?

    • Excellent advice! Seems I heard that a few times myself from my Dad too. His, more specifically, a golf ball:)

  4. I appreciated this, Jacquie. It is so hard to lose a parent before you have the chance to thank them in person for all those things you didn’t realize and that you realize later and keep realizing as you age. The greatest thanks I’m sure is, “I love you.” And I know you said that to your Dad many times over. Your Father’s Day tribute was a pleasure to read. Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks Carole. I think about him all the time, as I do keep realizing all those things… and I still thank him all the time.

  5. Hi Jackie, Love your post. I lost my dad in 1994. Guess what? I still miss him. It is something that will never go away. We were very close, as we did so many things together. There are times when I pick up the phone in order to call him. Can’t do that anymore, but I still cherish all those wonderful memories, and quality times we spent together. The greatest dad in the world.
    He will always live in my heart. Blessings.

  6. I loved this Jacquie! This will be the first Father’s Day without my daddy. I have so many memories with him it’s hard to know which one to tell. One of my favorites is when I was a little girl and a fishing trip.

    I had 3 brothers and never knew quite where I fit in. One Saturday I pestered my dad to take me with him and the boys to the ocean pier to catch some fish. He tried to get out of it by saying there wasn’t another rod for me. I didn’t care.

    Sitting on that pier, he made a pole out of a stick, a piece of line with a nail attached at the bottom and a piece of bologna. I was thrilled beyond belief that for once I got to be “on of the guys.” That following Christmas, under the tree, was a baby blue fishing pole and pink tackle box with my name on it. Without saying a word, he was telling me I did belong and was always welcome.

    How I miss his presence; his Irish grin, dry sense of humor, and the constant words, “I love you, honey.” Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s who are with us in their eternal spirit.

    • What a truly beautiful story for this Father’s Day, Jackie. Than you so much for sharing it! Your Dad, like mine, will live forever. Because as long as we remember, they are never truly gone :)

  7. Injustice, yes. A plan? Yes, indeed. My only solace is knowing I will see him again one day. The photos I have of my imposing father holding me in his arms as an infant are ingrained in my memory. The love we shared and knowing I brought joy to his life through my mere presence.

    What I also think about today are those who have emotionally lost their fathers- even though those men are still living. Someone very close to me is in that situation. Not having him present for her wedding, not walking her down the aisle, not wanting him to be at the wedding because he walked out when she was young. A young man whose father emotionally scarred him and now he has to find a surrogate father to teach him healthy parenting skills.

    I’m not sure which is worse- the physical loss of someone who left nothing but memories of joy or knowing you have been rejected by your father and living with the pain of emotional abandonment.
    Thank you, Jacquie, for sharing such a poignant story.

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