Category Archives: Father’s Day

Father-Daughter Dance

If you know me, or my blog, I often write about being fatherless, and its cause and effect on the past 60+ years of my life.

The annual Father-Daughter Dance at St. Ambrose School in Bridgeport Connecticut during the early 60’s, was the blockbuster event of the year.

For me, it was the tragic reality that as the only one in my class without a father, I couldn’t go.

The nuns, of course, knew of my fatherlessness, and were vicious about it; whispering gossip to each other about me and my unusual family unit.

As a divorcée, my mother was excommunicated by the Catholic Church. As such, she was deemed a sinner by St. Ambrose and as her child so was I.

The nuns accused me of sinning, while the parents of my friends labeled my home broken.

So from grades 1-8, I enviably sat that dance out.

But oh how my imagination ran wild.

I conjured up in my young inventive head how magical the night would be.

Me the belle of the Father-Daughter ball, sparkling in a Cinderella gown, and my father the most handsome man in the room, dressed to kill in a fancy tuxedo.

All eyes would be on us as we made our grand entrance into the transformed cafeteria and danced and twirled the unforgettable night away.

Everyone in attendance would ooh and aah at the bedazzled and priceless diamond necklace my father had surprised me with.

And no chintzy corsage for me. My wrist was adorned with a matching dazzling diamond bracelet.

I envisioned posing for the Father–Daughter photo, a swarm of paparazzi bulbs popping all around the two of us.

NOT.

Year after lousy year I was harshly reminded of the sin, the broken home, the fatherless void.

  

For Some of Us, It’s Fatherless Day

Father & daughter

For me,  a photo can be so much more enduring than words. And since I live and love by the written word,  images need to shout volumes to scorch my soul.

As someone who never knew my father, I have always had a painful relationship with Father’s Day. There’s nothing worse than seeing so many happy father people when I have absolutely nothing but regret, and fatherless loneliness to celebrate.

And yet I found the following presentments beyond words,  which stirred me in indescribable terms. The power of the images below filled me with heartache and okay, a lot of sadness. I hope they stir something in you too. And for all you fatherless friends out there, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Fathers Day

Fathers Day B

Fathers Day C

Fathers Day G

Fathers day H

Fathers Day I

Fathers day J

Fathers Day K

Fathers Day M

Fathers Day N

Fathers Day O

Fathers Day L

Fathers Day P

Happy Father’s Day to My Constant Gardener

Man saving woman in garden

I am the gardener in our family. I love the process of transplanting, weeding, giving life to seedlings, watering, and pruning long after my masterpieces have faded.

Rejuvenating my dormant plants and encouraging new growth and flowering, is more creative and peaceful than anything I know.

As a gardener, I know that the best starting point for any living thing is to remove dead, diseased, or damaged stems as soon as I see them. Because any gardener knows that dead stems attract insects and invite diseases to develop.

And I have gardened enough over the years to know that relocating a plant hidden and strangled by weeds allows it to bloom and shine and flourish once again. But once that plant has been moved to a new location, it needs constant care, and lots of water, but ever so carefully, so as not to drown it.

Repair and renew.

As I tend and toil in my garden, my husband basks in the sun. When it comes to our yard, I am the queen of green.

But in our relationship, my husband is the gardener.

He is the caretaker, the stable one who waters and nourishes. And I am the thankful recipient of his protection, soaking up his love and attention.

While I shine, he tends. When I’m sad or weary, he encourages. When I’m down, he pulls me up.

I am his garden favorite so to speak.

Our unlikely paths crossed randomly, during a rainy period, before the leaves covered everything and the ground froze solid enough to break our spades.

I was the fiercely independent and untrusting woman. He was the problem solver, with a gentle and steady demeanor.

I was the perennial in desperate need of a transplant. He was the constant and consummate gardener.

His protective method of pruning and cultivating was vital to ensuring my productivity, my longevity, and my strength. And his special care and attention over the years reinforced my optimal growth.

He’s charming and witty, but in a quiet, subtle way. He wears with pride the same t-shirts and socks he’s had for 20 or more years. I used to be embarrassed by the holes in his socks and the greyish aura of his used-to-be-white shirts, but I understand now.

It took me years to realize that he can’t throw them away because he’s loyal. The most loyal man I have ever met.

And he is selfless. Caring nothing for himself.

He’s disciplined in a way I could never be. A pillar of strength and support and as solid as a mighty oak tree.

He refuses to acknowledge his birthday and makes me promise to say and do nothing for him on the day that should be a celebration of his life.

And he doesn’t want any accolades on Father’s Day, so as not to put any pressure on anyone to recognize or do anything special for him at all.

That kind of stuff breaks my heart because he’s a terrific father, husband, and grandfather, and deserves to be honored and recognized for all the wonderful things he is and does for his family.

And he repeatedly reminds me that he is not my father, so I should stop with all the Father’s Day hoopla.

No, he isn’t my father. But I can’t help thinking how blessed my life would have been if I had a father who was a fraction of the man my husband is.

I thought I needed a broken man who could relate to my broken parts.

But in the end, I found a most amazing and truly whole man who painstakingly repaired and renewed me.

I always thought I was the constant gardener, the caretaker, and the provider who could handle anything.

But I was wrong.

I was wrong about a lot of things.

But I was right about him.

Happy Father’s Day my love.