Saturday, December 10, 2011


December 10th...the month is in double digits already?


Today's offering makes my fourteenth new posting. Guess the brain is still chugging right along.

Christmas has always been a special time for me...even though I was a bit deprived of birthday cheer, being a

December baby...I still adored the magic of the twinking lights, gay wrappings, sparkling bows, and special meals.

My Grandma, my most important role model, taught me about the love of family, and how important family is...I dedicate this to you,

Nonnie. I miss you so much.

L.J. Holmes

My father came to visit me recently. He's a frail man now, a mere shadow of who I've always known him to be. The booming voice that used to make me quiver in my Keds, little more than a squeak now. Gone is the girth, the overpowering strength, replaced by this fragile skeleton before me.

I looked at him, remembering the fear I lived with in the face of his often unreasoning anger, but for the first time I saw just a man...a man with simple human flaws. I wondered had he sometimes lain in his bed, long in the endless night, scared about the repsonsibilities that come with being a parent...a dad...the bread-winner?

He is a man, who never knew how to speak of love. Was he speaking of love when he blasted me for racing outside, across the stoned driveway he'd just had the nearby quarry deliver to, my Keds tucked beneath my bed, my bare feet happily callused against the uneveness of the land?

"Where are your shoes," he bellowed, the vein popping in the side of his neck as he glared at my naked toes. "You're not some poor street urchin."

Did he not speak words of clear love because, perhaps, no one had ever spoken them to him?

He's just a man who, good or bad, was still the father that raised me, the only dad I'd ever know, but smaller now, rickety, shorter even, some how...a man who I realized, is dying...perhaps not today, but soon.

The thought of him dying has since been on my mind. How do I, the daughter who carries the layers of his cruelty, both intended and not, on my inner spirit, feel about him dying?

My mind swirled with the enormity of lost chances. My mother died long ago, before I'd learned the beauty of forgiveness. With Dad I still had the chance to let the past truly be behind us. 

Just as I was ready to speak the words, one of his digs, spoken shakily, escaped those shriveled lips.
I felt my heart and soul react, but in truth, it was up to me whether he hit his target or not.

It didn't.

I will in, all probablility, never be close to my father...some things are beyond us both this time around. I regret that deeply. Perhaps in a lifetime to come, or in heaven with God there to guide us, we will find the bridge to undo the disconnect that exists so staunchly between us.

For now it's enough that I could step close to this shriveled man and hug him, forgive him within my heart, tell him I loved him, not wince when his next words cut once more, and turn him over to a power higher than anything I held inside me.

I watched him leave, this fragile little man, climbing into his shiny boat of a car, but as he pulled away, I asked God to enfold him in His vast well of love, and guide my dad, now, and when he is taken away.

Bless you, Dad. I love you.

Again I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and Thank you for your ongoing support and your deeply appreciated comments.


jenny milchman said...

I'm a December baby, too. Happy birthday, Lin.

I guess it wouldn't work to point out to your dad how is words continue to cut? Tell him you know this might be hard, but you'd like to connect while there's still the chance for both of you to benefit?

It's so hard to accept our parents for who they are--limited, flawed. You seem to have done really admirable work in that department.

And the description of your father as 'rickety'--that is really brilliant.
Enjoy the holidays...

Lin said...

Thank you Jenny, and Happy Birthday to you too.

No, it wouldn't help. I have tried. When I did he said I was being over sensitive. He and I will find balance when we both are Beyond the Veil of human flesh.