But I never really talk about the part that I always worried about. You see my dad obviously didn't enjoy the holiday and every year he did something to show us. Holidays were always upset by him at some point. When my parents split up, we saw even less of him during the holidays which didn't make sense since all of us kids were grown up and had kids. The five of us kids had pretty much mutually decided that my father simply didn't like the holidays for personal reasons. As a small child that is a very hard thing.
Last night as my father and his girlfriend, Fran (or as my kids call her Granny Fran) came over. We were sitting just talking when dad started talking about how he stayed out of his kids’ lives. The personal issues between each of us as well as any marital relationships that he believed that he didn’t have the right to say anything. Now he has said this throughout the years over and over so it wasn’t anything new. The new part came when he shared something about himself that I never knew. I’m 44 years old and never had this been spoken in front of me. My dad told me that he had just learned something new about himself. He told me that he now knew that us five kids believed that Christmas was a bad time for him. I quietly agreed with that. He told me that he was sorry that we felt that way but that the holidays are very hard on him. He was 17 years old when his brother died and sixteen months later, his father passed on as well. I watched as we spoke my father’s eyes fill with tears. My dad hardly ever shows emotion so it was very shocking for me. Yes he will hug you and tell you he loves you but it is very rare occasions. You simply know that he loves you.
But it started me to thinking. My dad held all of this inside himself for all these years. I can name on one hand how many times he spoke of his brother or his father. He never got over it. He admitted that as much last night as I have ever seen. So I offered to have Christmas in July with him instead. We can go camping or fishing. We don’t need to do the holidays and hurt him more or maybe we do need to do them so that he remembers how much we love him as well.
My dad and Uncle Phil (Not sure about the others)
To those of you who have lost someone, either recently or in the past, please try to share your stories. Please try to remember them with good memories. I talk freely of my first husband, Michael. Even though it hurts me. By sharing these memories with others, you allow your loved one to live on in the hearts of others.
My heart goes out to you all. God bless you all.