An unhappy Father's Day
Last Sunday, (Father's Day) I found myself being a bit cranky and for some reason, not very interested in doing anything special for my husband.
As a father and stepfather to my children, he certainly deserved to enjoy his place of honor for the day; however, I really didn't feel like facilitating or participating in any Father's Day activities.
I knew it had nothing whatsoever to do with him.
As I admired all of the photographs of fathers that people posted on the various social media sites, I decided that it was too much effort to go through the many boxes of unorganized photos to find one of my dad and myself to share online.
My dislike for Father's Day and my subsequent sour disposition that seems to accompany it has been building over the past couple of years.
This year is the first time I ever allowed myself to examine the "why."
I guess the first part of it is that my father passed away quite suddenly nearly 16 years ago at a relatively young age of 55; the same age as his father and the same age as his younger brother.
It happened just a few days after Thanksgiving, and one I didn't spend with my father due to a conflict between him and my grandmother who decided she was going to come up to my home that year but then changed her mind at the last minute.
I had seen my father only briefly (under a half-hour) a week or so before Thanksgiving when I had to make a drive down to lower Bucks County for some other reason.
I was tired and miserable and toting a 6-month old baby, who was also tired and miserable.
I really didn't even want to stop at his apartment that day as I was anxious to get on the turnpike for the nearly two-hour ride home; but I stopped anyway.
As best as I can recall, I was short and distant with my father on that final visit for reasons that I cannot remember, but will always regret.
I was always very jealous of other kids who had their mom and dad together at home in the perfect little house with the happy little family.
My parents divorced when I was very young and my father was physically abusive to most, if not all of the women he ever dated and with me as well.
He had a short fuse and a quick and powerful hand.
I loved him, but at the same time I resented and feared him as well.
As long as I did what I was supposed to do and in the manner in which I was supposed to do it, everything was great.
My dad always made sure he was there to pick me up on his scheduled visitation.
I don't think he ever missed a weekend.
He loved to take me out to eat and to see various plays and shows.
I remember him often taking me fishing and swimming and teaching me how to do different flips off of the diving board.
He came to as many of my sporting or musical events as his work schedule would allow, even though he would sometimes be a little bit critical of me in front of the other parents and kids.
My father would routinely stop what he was doing, look me in the eye and serenade me with "Daddy's Little Girl."
He always hugged and kissed me and despite his flaws, I knew my father loved me.
My father was an excellent wedding and portrait photographer. He did some of the campaign portraits for Vice President Walter Mondale.
I occasionally served as a lighting assistant for my dad on some of his shoots when I was in my teens and early 20s, but my father was an impatient man and photography quickly became something that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Since becoming a stringer with the Times News, I have developed a real love for photography and take my camera with me wherever I go, often pulling over on the side of the road to snap a few pics.
I have had people recently tell me that I have my father's "eye" and that I inherited his talent in capturing people, objects and moments in time.
Gosh, I wish he were here so I could share it with him.
I never really related to my dad in any way, but if he were here now, I imagine that we could spend countless hours shooting anything and everything, together.
I know that he could teach me so much and I even think he would be proud of me.
I will always regret not taking advantage of that last visit we had together and now am working on letting go of the hurt.
I thought that I had forgiven my father and myself a long time ago, but perhaps I need to revisit that yet again.
To my hubby, I am sorry that I shortchanged you on your special day.
You are a wonderful husband and father and I hope that your new recliner will make you feel like a king on his throne.
And Daddy, I miss you.