If you felt abandoned by your dad, you will love the pathos and triumph of this blog. I will print it here for convenience, but it’s better at her site.
“To Love without an Escape Plan”
I dial the numbers slowly. A bit of hesitation in my fingers. In my heart.
It’s later than I’d planned to call. But that is the way my life goes. Tucking in all the littles. Wrapping up the day.
And this night has brought with it a resonating ache. A friendship strained and stretched. The weight of it sitting heavy on my heart. Slowing my every moment.
So with this heart already opened raw… I speak into the phone.
“Happy Birthday, Dad”
He mumbles thanks and I quickly ramble off the information of an e-card created just for him by the littles, our latest in emergency-room visits, a bit of uncomfortable chatter.
He, in his natural way, makes a joke about me only having ten toes. It is him in a moment. The soft bantering humor. It connects me to him as if once again my hands are little.
And then as quickly as it started it’s over and he’s gone. Connection disconnected.
He still doesn’t know how to stay. Not even on the phone.
I want him to know it’s ok. I understand it. Understand him. My heart feels the sadness in his voice. The helplessness.
He doesn’t know how to stay.
I’ve spent my whole life watching him leave.
Watching him. Wishing just once he’d stay. Just for a moment see me. Know me.
There are few things that drive you toward God like an absent father.
Few things that leave the vacancy, the caverns of blackness. Of empty searching. Grasping.
Looking to be loved. Defined. Beautiful.
I spent half a lifetime wishing he’d died. Somehow thinking it would be easier if he’d had no choice. If he hadn’t walked away. And this last half so grateful to just love him from a distance. Knowing that it’s all he has to give.
Today is his birthday. A day for celebration. Joy. And for me it is filled with ache.
Not the same paralyzing pain of the little girl that waited for him, face pressed against the glass.
No this pain is sadness. The twisting, burning ache of loving from the outside. The sorrow of watching a heart withered, wrapped up tight and unmoving. A heart unaware of what it truly means to be open. To love without an escape plan.
A heart that has missed the joy of a daughter. The indescribable blessing of knowing a child as well as you know your own face.
And I want to tell him it’s ok. I understand.
My heart grieves. No longer for me, but for him. For all that he missed. All that will never come again.
I am well. Strong. Beautiful. Loved.
And he never need feel guilty. For I know how it feels to have a Father. To have the One who never leaves fill your heart. I know how it refines you to love with your Whole Heart. To be the child of a devoted mother. To be a committed wife. To have a child. To have three.
I love him. I love me. The bits of him that are reflected back at me. The parts of me that want to leave when the struggles begin. The pieces of me that can figure out how to do anything.
I am proud to be his child. Honored to have come from him.
He wasn’t there… And he is completely forgiven. Completely loved.
Because he never learned how to stay, I have learned how to fight for love. Because he was afraid of the work of loving, I am not.
Because he left, I know how to stay.
Everything is a Gift. Grace poured out into this fragile soul. I am here in this moment because he is my father. I am part of him. And I love him.
Even though he doesn’t know how to stay.
And birthday’s are for new beginnings…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Posted By Loxlia to lovelycrumbs at 1/21/2012 12:37:00 AM 00 AM