This is the first time in many years when I haven’t felt a horrible sense of dread about Father’s Day.
My father expected to be honored and acknowledged on Father’s Day, but I quit doing that a long time ago, because I decided I couldn’t continue to be that dishonest. Instead, the day became an annual reminder of the tension between the praise he wanted and the reality of what I needed to say to him.
When I kept trying to get him to talk with me about the past — and how he treated me in that present — he used to get angry and say, “Nobody gives me any credit for all the things I did for you children.”
That wasn’t true, but when you need to get someone to look at the abuse he’s inflicted on you (and continues to inflict), you’re in no mood to recount anything good about him. Now that he’s dead — and no longer stalking me online and showing up at my door unannounced — I can finally allow myself to look at his positive side once again.