Thursday, May 14, 2015

Introduction for a Series Called "The DDD- The Dead Dad Day. The DayDadDied. The Triple-D."

Introduction for a series: “The DDD-The dead dad day. The day dad died. The Triple-D." 

I’ve attached a page with an excerpt from a post I wrote in my old blogging days. 
Click here if you’d like to read it first: (I’d recommend it.) 
"Dead Dad Day Post From Lulu in 2008" 

So. I have been meaning to document that fateful day and I plan to in the next few days. It's cathartic, I haven't done it, and this year has truly been about him so far, so it makes sense. 

I find myself in a precarious situation in life. I’m getting divorced. I’m a social pariah in my bubble-town, and simultaneously, my writing career is blowing up, and my creative abilities are dynamic and overpowering. It’s a bitter sweet thing, to have a life that is seemingly falling apart, and also a dream of mine being realized, slowly and without question. 

Losses always rekindle the memories of other losses. This is a time in my life that I would have leaned on my father. He would have walked around quietly with his hands in his pockets when my husband moved out. 

He would have fought back his constant need to state the obvious, and listened more. He was so amazing in the clutch moments. I think it is what balanced out the dichotomy of him. 

I miss him more now, than ever before because I’m learning so much, risking so much and finally doing all the things he had meant to say but were hidden in the spaces between the things he said. He wanted me to be independent. He wanted me to live passionately and he wanted me to write- Always wanted me to write. 

In the past few days leading up to the DDD, I find myself reflecting much more on his humanness. The wounds and the defenses that were a huge part of him. I recognize similar wounds in people I love and have hurt, or built up. I have had far many more epiphanies than I will share here but the main thematic emotion is fear. How fear has driven, and still drives so many of us and how debilitating that is. The other side to that is trust. There are volumes and volumes I could write on the matter, and I will, but for here…I will say, if he speaks to me now in events, or strange happenings, I feel it. 

 If there is anything I feel he has been trying to convey it is to 

These two things are so ironic because as a hard-headed teenager, those were my messages to him. Constantly, I pushed him and deliberately put him in uncomfortable conversations, situations and emotional traps to corner him into admitting his vulnerabilities, his fears, and his huge heart. I saw in him all that I was scared I’d become. Irony. 

It’s all beautifully elliptical and curving back into itself. I see that now. He was a huge-hearted lover and had deep passions and incredible perceptions. They felt super human, actually, but he was also very controlled and stoic. As for the latter, I am neither; nor will I ever be. 

I am coming to realize that he had suffered so many deep losses that he subconsciously closed himself off to all of these beautiful emotional gifts. He chose instead to silently (and sometimes it seemed to be gross negligence or inadequacy) be removed in order to be present. To truly feel (like I do) or allow himself to let all the beauty, good and incredible empathy he possessed would also allow for him to feel how hurt he was. He would not be able to deny or suppress how alone he felt, how betrayed and lost. I understand that more than ever. 

It has never been more clear to me that he was so complex and….hurt. In this new stage of life I have gone to the extreme of authenticity. I’m rather hard to be around, abrasive and brutally honest. I just can’t tolerate surface banality right now,  nor will I mince words or speak indirectly. It’s a polar opposite from how I was living this “core lie” and ended up tangled in my web of half-truths, hopes, charades, and roles I played. I was always without filter, and self-effacing so I know I will normalize in the middle somewhere. Until then, it has helped me to be more self-aware than ever. 

I am quick to admit if I’m wrong, or unfair. So quick, that people repel it as sarcasm when I say: “Oh, that’s totally my fault. yes! I’m doing that. Sorry. Shit. That sucks.” or “I’m probably being selfish or inconsiderate…” and they think I’m being passive aggressive. Who would have thought? Pure honesty, unabashed and straight forward communication now gets lost in the “translation of other’s stuff and perception.” I won't give up, though. I am teaching myself patience, and better listening. 

I listen to words I remember from my dad. I hear better, the messages he presented either consciously, or in his defenses. I want to hold him and grab his chubby bearded cheeks and look him dead in the eyes. I want to hold his attention with intensity of myself now, coupled with the nurturing of my maternal love for my kids. 

I want to say to him:

You are an amazing boy, your childhood story is fascinating and inspires me but mostly I’m in awe that you grew to be such an incredible man. Your worth is decided only by you and those of us that love you for YOU- as you are. I’m proud of how you dealt with so much pain and loss and rejection but still found ways to laugh, work hard, build a family and beyond that, Dad, you recorded memories. You thought of and executed on creating gifts that we still enjoy now. The tapes of you reading us stories before bed…these are priceless, a snapshot in time. 

The never ending spools of film and 8MM and videos and printed pictures? Amazing.Or how you went back on the 8MM and dubbed my sister and I narrating... That was foresight. That was a huge give away as to how much love capacity that heart of yours (that you hid so well) was built with. 

I’m sorry you had to hurt so much and for all the mistrust that kind of pain creates.  I wish I could go back to when you were alive and snap you out of some of the self-created cocoons you stuffed your emotions in. I could help, I could listen because I’m in awe of you. You did what you knew. You pushed us. You believed in us. You believed in the idea of ever-growing, ever-developing.  No, you weren’t the most emotional guy/father. I can count how many times you said “I love you.” on my two hands but you spoke in action. Your love was a testament of the rare trait these days: unconditional dependability. 

You were always, I repeat, always THERE when we needed you. That, dad, was something you never got from anyone. No, the world disappointed, your parents left you in one way or another to fend for yourself. I can only realize now, that boarding school and living alone at fifteen must have seemed like a spa-day compared to what you endured. At sixteen you literally watched your mother die in your arms after an accident. 

You had no back-up, no fail safe. No call to make knowing you'd be scooped up, saved and given more chances. No one was there to hash out your feelings or console you on lonely nights in Zanzibar when you were left to oversee the house while the rest of the family went back to Arabia to escape the revolution. 

I see why you were always paranoid. I see how you trusted no one. I want and wish I could have told you how much you could trust me. I would do nearly anything to ease your mind, validate your deep and so very sad scars. These things happened TO you. You were given few tools to process them.  As every parent wants, you pushed us to be better. You pushed yourself to create a life for us that required less suffering and survival. You, instead laid out a world in which we could thrive. That, I’m sure was a tricky dance. 

I’m certain you felt we were not grateful and that we had it “easy.”  (I think my kids are spoiled and a bit light in the way of experiences compared to mine.) I can only imagine how painful that was, the conflict of wanting better for your kids, but then somehow being sad for yourself and for all the comforts you never were afforded. 

I see you. I see all of you, now. It was you who planted these seeds in us. You, who showed through action, not self-puffery or money what strong looks like. You made mistakes, and you failed all the time, but you never quit. You never, not once gave up on anything, more over you never gave up on US. That is the most valuable. That, and trust. 

Both your daughters new without hesitation that you would appear hell or high-water if we needed you. That is trust. I am doing all I can to right the wrongs of my life thus far, part of that is forgiving people and myself. My heart breaks that you seemed never to forgive yourself. 

I forgive you, I know in the deepest places of my soul that you never needed forgiveness because accidents happen, and people die, and the entire journey is mysterious, but fault and blame are not part of it. You, dad, are the best thing that ever happened to me. Even in your death, you teach me, you shine light on the parts of myself that need to be reminded to fight. I will say to you, what you were never told enough, what you sought in your escapades and empty attempts to seek it. (Not unlike I did.) 

I love you. I love you with the thunderous power of a million storms over the sea. I love you with the white soft acceptance of  a love persistent through knowing all your worsts but seeing your best. I love you with the nurturing heart of a mother who only wants peace for her children and to keep in them, their birthright, to love themselves wholly.

I love you because you are, were, and have always been the north star, the ocean’s rhythm and the sparkle in my eye that let me be who I was, am, and am trying to be. I love you, eternally and fiercely because you, I realize now, feared loving, you feared feeling it too, and you had every right. We all do.

 I love you more every day because I understand you and see so much more about all of us. I realize that nothing has to be mutually exclusive. That you can be a terrible husband, and a great father. You can be successful and completely disappointed in yourself at times. That you can live fully and still have regrets.  You can be scared and show only power and control. 

I see you. I love you, and I send so much love out into the universe for you, on your behalf and from knowing that I am so grateful to have gotten YOU as my father, my friend and my forever soul mate. My love- I hope you glide in the wind of it, cutting glass-like water with your board….My love kiss blown to carry you fast and forever from the beauty of the woman you created in me. The beauty in a child's love and recognition bending time and memories backwards to never stop telling you how much you are loved. 

Ive never missed you more. I wish I could hug you again and force the awkward embrace until you relaxed into it, I have no fear now.  Ive never been more sure that in loving myself, I am, indeed, loving you. 

As every parent knows, evolving is ideal, but more important is the gift of our children loving themselves like we do them. I love you like I love them, and myself. Thank you. 

While you're listening, thank your mother too. I credit her for the love and foundation of your heart to be true. I credit her for helping me, in some small way see all of this now. 

Bye for now. 

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