This week’s visit to Florida was for two reasons:
1) To visit my Dad
2) To RELAX
I didn’t accomplish touching sand, but I re-connected with my paternal grandmother. I didn’t go anywhere, but I did get to eat barbecue.
I had secretly thought vainly that I would spend some quality time with my Dad just like you see in the movies. I would arrive & he would make every effort to spend time with me. We’d have a barbecue on the beach with family & friends. I’d frolick along the shore mulling over the sunset, recounting pleasant memories & re-telling stories. We’d care & share…
Well, that never happened, but I knew it wouldn’t. Here’s what did…
I tried to tell my Dad about my life. He’d interrupt me to tell someone to get him something, or tell me how much some property is selling for. Or, someone else would interrupt me to give my Dad some sort of request…some random task or other distraction. Then came the false memories that my Dad told, which were more hurtful than pouring lemon-juice on an open wound. Whatever.
The moments that I did have, I had to steal, just like Meggie (played by Rachel Ward) to Cardinal DeBricasard (played by Richard Chamberlain). Not in an icky Thorne-Bird-lovey way, though ’cause that’d be way gross. So I said what I could and went about the business of relaxation (although it was a challenge with gramps bugging me every minute).
My overall assessment of the trip (nearly a few hours away from my return flight) is that my father is a bottomless pit of mystery that can never be unravelled. There is no reason for his o’er hasty marriage as he is not Getrude from Hamlet, attempting to protect Denmark from marauders. Nope. There also is no reason why he should never come to terms with the deaths of his army buddies that died in Vietnam, 9-11, & the sudden deaths of his sister, brother, & best friend. There is no reason why he should feel responsible for repairing what he never broke. There is no reason why he should re-write history on stuff he DID break. There is no reason why he should dismiss my voice amidst the din of others. There is no reason why he should feel thus influenced.
All I know is this: I did the right thing, I’ve done my best.
I couldn’t have done any better. And I know now that I’ll never know what it’s like to have a Dad like in the movies. I’ve said all there is to say & I will leave behind all of it. I will never come back here. This chapter of my life is over. And I’m sad, but happy at the same time. I can’t describe what I feel, it’s so profound. And, final.