Sunday, May 19, 2013

Old photos...

I started going thru the boxes I brought home from California.  My Father's office has been packed up for 20 years, untouched. 

Diplomas, family photos, patent plaques, work papers, etc...  Some I remembered hanging the walls of his office, some seem completely unknown to me.  

I wasn't expecting to find every letter I'd written him from college.  Or his 3 draft cards, his Goldwater in '64 tie pin, or a random Father's Day card I made for him in 1975.  All brought tears to my eyes, as I tried to organise 30 years of an impressive career that was cut short at the age of 51. 

His desk was the centre of his office and will be the centre of mine.  He spent many hours sitting at that desk working on things I can't even wrap my head around.  

He graduated with an electrical engineering degree, and a bit later his MBA in the mid '60s and  I studied English literature and sociology.  As much as our dry humour was a like, our brains worked worlds apart.  His work was technical, mine worked on grabbing the reader's interest. I'm left handed for christ's sake, that should say everything.  

For all his technical merit, he still understood my need to take a pottery classes in college.  He enjoyed the arts.  As well he should, he introduced it to me.  Art shows in The City, gallery openings, museums around the world, he certainly wasn't a one sided man.  He felt every well rounded person should learn a musical instrument and appreciate art.  I began piano lessons in the 1st grade.  I have no doubt my decision was because he played the piano.  I loved to watch him play. 

He never discouraged learning.  I thought I wanted to be a National Geographic photographer when I was 12.  I call my year from 12 to 13 my black and white phase.  

Looking at my black and white photos gives me a new appreciation for his faith in me.  He always told me I could accomplish anything with hard work and commitment. 

I thought every parent said those things...but sadly I now realise that's just not true. 

He gave me a gift.  
He was my Father.  

I hope he was proud of me. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Discrimination based on sexual orientation.

I wrote a post last month about my daughter's sexual orientation.  And yet, really the post was more about how proud I was that she was/is so comfortable in her own skin at such a young age to talk about it with me.  Me, her mom of all people.  

I never would have discussed that with my mother....cold chills are running down my spine just thinking of that that.  Ick. 

Yet, I knew I wanted to be the kind of mother/parent that my kids could come to....and I am.  Nothing is too taboo to talk about in our family. 
I'm proud of that. 

So when I got/get some flack from a commentor(s), I'm never really surprised but I'm sometimes a bit confused. 

He(a commentor) wrote what a bad influence I am for my deviant daughter(eye roll).  Now here's where my confusion comes blog this last year or so has pretty graphically described my sex life with my Husband and our other sexual kinks.  This religious nut didn't seem to mind those posts.  But write about how I'm proud of my bisexual daughter and now I'm a heathen for christs sake.  Talk about a hypocrite. 

As per required of every religious zealot, he took it further saying there is nothing stopping people(like her) from having sex with kids and/or animals, etc.... This mainstay of their argument is always brought up as a red herring, to ignore the real truth.  They are bigots...and use their religion to hide behind their bigotry. 

All this is done to hide the fact that they are openly discriminating against a group of people based on their sexual orientation....and nothing else.   Perhaps out of fear?  I don't know.  

I'd have a little more respect for these people if they were just honest in their discrimination. 

Any religion that decries against it...should be brought under severe scrutiny.  As I've told my daughter, any religion that tells you that loving another person is should be suscipious of their motivations.  Loving someone is never wrong.  

It's just that simple.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

home again, home again, jiggity jig.

I just got home again, after spending a week in California.  

What was to be a few days, picking up my Father's furniture and his belongings, turned into an ugly scene with my mother...and ended with me leaving early and spending the rest of the week recovering with a friend. 

Perhaps I was overly optimistic that this visit with my mother would be normal.  Even my brother and husband had tried to prepare me for the possibility that it might not go as planned. Visits with my mother rarely do, yet, I stayed true to my belief that this visit would be different.  I didn't shore up any walls or defences like I usually do, in order to protect myself.  I realise now, this was what my husband was worried about....

Looking back, I realise there were a few red flags that I should have heeded. Some 'off the cuff' comments she'd made before we came down...they made me think for a bit, but ultimately I discarded the notion that she would be make this visit difficult. 

I couldn't have been more wrong. 

Time really has no meaning to someone who feels they are the "victim".  Even though it's been 7 years since we've had our last "disagreement" she was able to readily bring up shit that had pissed her off from 20 years ago. The woman simply cannot let anything go. 

I don't even like to call our discussions, "disagreements" or "fights" because when I'm standing there and she's screaming nonsense at me....what do you call that?  I refuse to participate in these discussions with her. I absolutely refuse.  I walk away.  It's the only way I can stay sane. 

There is no reason for me to participate in her nonsense anyway.  She continues to brings up the past over and over and how she feels everyone has hurt her personally in some way.  I have since read and studied that is what people with narrssisstic disorders do...Honestly, if I stayed, it would be difficult for me to keep a straight face and not bust out laughing at half the shit she brings up.  I know she's been diagnosed bipolar but I swear she's delusional as well.  
Her perception of the past is so skewed. 

There simply is no way to make sense out of her skewed logic.  Her moral compass is so off it's scary.  
She could take up days and days of writing, but I promised myself I wouldn't do that. 
After moving out when I was 18, I sought therapy to help me understand why she is the way she order to cope better.  

She raised me, yes.  Adopted me, yes.  Do I feel that she was my mother?  Yes.  But not in the way most children do.  I was more the mother in that relationship. So it will always feel, in my heart, like I didn't really have the true sense. 

Which brings me back to why I put up with all this crap.  To get my father's things.  He was my parent in every way. He protected me.  Guided me. Loved me unconditionally.  I was very much a "Daddy's girl".  It was an easy roll for me to fill and to flourish.  

As I went thru some old photos last night, there are so many photos of my Father and I.  You can see the look in my eyes when I'm with him, pure adoration.  

I realise now why my mother said she resented me all those years ago(and probably still).  My Father and I had a very special bond which is was easily seen...even in the photos.  

I miss him everyday.  
I know I always will. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Going home.

A few years ago, when we were living on a quiet island in the Puget Sound, a new friend I'd met the previous year died.

She was a young mother, with two children not even yet school age.

Her diagnosis came as a shock. The doctors weren't even sure she'd have a few months. She was terminal, there was nothing they could do, she knew her fate.

In those few months, even tho she lived, we mourned her. We also mourned the fate of her young children.

A small group of mothers took turns caring for the children for a few hours each afternoon. Sometimes so she could rest or sleep. Sometimes so her and her husband could spend some alone time together.

It was the least we could do.

The doctors were right, she deteriorated quickly and passed away only a few months after her initial diagnosis.

As I thought about my upcoming trip home this weekend, I thought about my friend....and her children. They were/are so young. The youngest had only turned two, the oldest not yet four.

Would they remember their mother? Would they remember how much she loved them? How much she tried to keep smiling till the very end?

I was 24 when my Father passed away. We too, knew he'd be leaving us soon. Those few months of mourning while he was still alive, cannot be described with words. It's the darkest my life has ever been. And 20 years later, I miss him still with such a hurting in my heart, that it brings me to tears.

I think of her children, and know they've been robbed of so much. Maybe it's best they won't remember. I don't really know.

H and I married six months after He passed. Quietly, just the two of a small chapel in California. If He couldn't walk me down the isle, I didn't want there to be any people....just us. For He loved H too.

I'm going home this weekend. It's not the first or even the 20th time since He's died that I'm going home. But this time, I'm bringing back pieces of him that are so important to me. It's like I'm finally getting closure.

I feel so blessed that He was my Father for 18 years. That He picked me and brought me home all those years ago...and now I'm bringing home a piece of Him.