Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I love my Dad a lot. Thanks to him, I have this feeling that there are mountains to climb. I can climb them. For most of my life, my Mom told me that the reason why he never hugged my neck was his mother's fault. She was distant. They just weren't hugging people. I had to accept that and be glad for the relationship that I did have. The same story she told my son. So we believe it. That was until my brother married and he had kids. There Pup and I were watching my Dad hug my brother's neck, my sister in law's neck, and my brother's kid's neck. But Pup and I? There was that perfunctory hug and that was it. Stoic.

When dad finally emerged from being sick, I went to see him. He was still pretty out of it. It was before the therapy so his speech was slurred.  Out of the blue he hugged my neck and said, "I love you."  I was beside myself.  Later I would tell someone about that hug. Then I'd tell them that my brother needed my dad. That when he hugged my neck, I finally would be enough because I knew. I was tough and I was okay. The person I told this to looked down at the floor. She didn't say anything she just looked at me. "It's okay." I'm telling her. I'm strong like my father raise me to be.

"I'm strong."

Those are words that I've told myself over and over. When Mom lied. When my son died. When I was pretty sure that WB really didn't want me around? When we didn't have a church?  I told myself I was strong.

But everytime I said it, I little voice said, "That's not fair."

When WB used to stand me up and I forgave because after all that's the kind of relationships I would get?  I wonder. What if my my Mother had told me that my Dad didn't hug me because of his Mom but that didn't mean he couldn't hug me.  She did that for my brother, his wife, and his kids. But Pup and I? For some reason other folks would have to be our Dad and grandfather.

My son? He hugs people's neck and cares about them. When he has a daughter, he'll worry over her and she'll have a clue of what a healthy relationship looks like.

I made sure he knew how.


Author Anne.




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