|Dad and me, some time in the late seventies. That smile is coming back.|
It’s Father’s Day, and I haven’t seen you, since you left us in December, 1987. I was angry that you left, I cried a lot – but only for a short while – a few minutes – and then I realised crying wouldn’t make you come back. You were gone, forever. And the madness started in me…
I shut you out, I shut out God, and I locked my stepmother out of my life. And I learned that life is painful, but crying doesn’t make it better. I learned that life is hard, and no one makes it easier for you. I learned not to get close to anyone, because they just hurt you, and leave. I learned to cope with this shit thing called life and I went about my daily living without any hope or ambition or real sense of what I could be.
I learned to hate you, and accused you and Aunty Lynne for breaking up the family, accused her of stealing you from us, for taking you on that holiday you never came back from. She killed you. I learned to hate, and to forget, and I built callouses over the pain so what when I was forced to think of you, to remember, it wouldn’t be so agonising.
I learned to hate God, and to shut him out, and to negate his existence. I plastered a smile on my face and I went on, seemingly happy-go-lucky.
But you see – the only way to shut you out, to shut God out – was to have no feelings of any kind, to have no trust. It worked well, until I fell in love. This should have been the key to getting back to myself, to learning all about you and God, all over again – but it didn’t work out: my boyfriend was unfaithful, and I hid from the pain of that in a glut of drugs, for years, until I fell for someone else, who just used me for my money and the drugs I would buy him.
WHY WEREN’T YOU THERE TO GUIDE ME? WHY WEREN’T YOU THERE TO PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ME AND MAKE THE WORLD A SAFE PLACE? YOU LEFT ME ALONE!
I left me alone. I … shunned the people who DID love me and who DID care for me, and I got lost, in the drugs.
Dad, I fucked up. I hurt you – I hurt the memory of you, because you were nothing but a man of strength and love and patience and tolerance. You were a deep thinker, and had time for everyone – I became an impatient, intolerant asshole.
Dad I miss you. I miss the times you used to come home early when I was sick in bed, and bring me treats, and bring me love. I miss the surprise visits, like you used to do when I was in boarding school. I miss being able to tell you about my first love, my first kiss – Dad – I miss being able to confess to you that I am gay, I miss being able to say “Dad, I’m an addict and I need help!”
But in all this pain, right down at rock bottom, God found me – He reminded me I was never really lost, and he guided me back to life. Dad, you raised three other fucking amazing kids – Lynn, Geor and Jamie – thank GOD for them! Thank GOD for you! Thank GOD! My family and their families – Joe, Lara, Juanita, Lize-Marie and Jeff and all the kids have been such powerful reminders of you, and of Mom. You live on in them.
Dad, I’m sorry we spent so much time apart, after you died. I know I hurt you – but I know, too, that just like God, you are filled with love and forgiveness. I am clean for 140 days today, and I am doing this journey back to life in honour of God, and of my family – of you and Mom.
Watch me rise!
Happy Fathers’ Day
Lots of love, again – your Little Rubbish!
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