Everybody knows the basics. Dad died in June. Step-Mom in November. My father had set up trusts for me and each of my sisters and we were named beneficiaries. It wasn’t until after both my Dad and step-mom died did any of us realize just how selfless my father had been his whole life.
I was reading some of his letters over again on Christmas Eve. It struck me for the first time what a unique and strong writing voice he had. His words could cut through diamonds at times. In others I could feel the pain and sorrow and concern he had for me. It pains me that he had never read anything I’ve written and really had no idea of what I had accomplished.
The result of all the..loss..I guess was that it taught me how unafraid I was to be alone. Maybe too much so. I have been told by a few men in the last 6 months that that aspect of my personality has been unsettling to them. When my friend commented on how “self-sufficient” I came across, I knew that wasn’t a good thing. But, as I said to him, I don’t feel like I need to apologize for that. I still need. I just don’t need as much as some men need me to need them. I also learned that a passive man will never, ever survive in my life. It’s hard to balance the feminine thing with the dominant thing. As I said to my sister recently, we were spoiled in many ways, none more so in that we grew up with a man who encouraged us to have and voice our opinions and wasn’t even slightly thrown by the presence of an assertive female. He had no choice. He was surrounded by 8 of them his whole life. Between his mother, my mother and step-mother and me and my sisters, It was all he knew. What they all have, that I struggle to hone, is that softer and more gentle side. I’m working on it. When my friend recently told me how “tender” I seemed as I was falling asleep I initially laughed. I think that was a defense mechanism kicking in. I didn’t know how to respond. So I simply smiled and thanked him. But inside I was doing a little happy dance as though I had accomplished something huge.
For whatever reason today, my birthday, has been one of the toughest since my Dad died. Maybe because this was “our” day. It wasn’t a holiday he shared with all of us. He gave me two phone calls so that I didn’t feel ripped off since my birthday is a holiday of sorts (NYE.) This one was just for me. Like him, I’m an early riser and get up between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning. I don’t know how to sleep in, much like I don’t know how to vacation. Again, just like him. He’d call me early in the morning to say Happy Birthday and then around 5 or 6 to say Happy New Year, as he and my Step-mom were typically in bed by 6:30 every night. I plan on heading over to St. Ignatius (the saint my Dad was named after) to light a candle. I did that a few months ago on a day I was particularly struggling with the idea of him being gone. I like to go when no one is there so I can just sit and absorb my surroundings – the windows, the altar, etc. I picked up the Mass Book and opened it up to a reading. It was from the Book of Matthew. The reading was about a King with three servants. To the first two, The King gave multiple talents based upon their abilities. To the third servant he gave just one. The first two servants turned around and doubled the talents given to them by The King. But the third servant chose to bury his, afraid to lost it. This angered The King, as this servant – because of his fear – wasted that talent when he could have either used it to make more talents or invested the talent and gained interest.
“‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
I could hear my father’s voice as I read it. “You’re a very smart girl.” Translation: “I’m so disappointed.” He never understood what I did, despite the fact that I had been writing since I was child and writing was my minor in college. (I know, shocking given how inconsistent my grammar can be at times. Working on that, too.) My father gave my sisters and I many talents – skills, guidance, support, financial help. I can honestly say my father denied me nothing. Nothing. He passed traits on to me that , if used wisely, could make many, many more talents as long as I don’t squander them or let fear rule me. I just wish he could be here to see what’s coming next.
Well, that’s all from me for today.Have a safe and happy New Year, folks. Feel free to share your plans below or discuss what’s going on with you. Open thread, bitches!
Sidenote: That pic was taken last month. My friend took me out for drinks at some point after my step-mom died. Yes, that’s my hair straight. I’ve taken to wearing it that way for the past few months. It’s a lot easier to manage than I thought. I have a hair stylist do the initial blow out and then I just maintain it for a few days. I’ll go curly for a week or so then have it blown out again.