Does Father actually need a capital letter? I’m not sure. I was raised mostly in the south so doing things properly is always a concern. Father is a big word for me so a capitalizing it makes sense, even if it wasn’t needed. My Father died January 29, 2015 while I was partying with friends in Las Vegas. Funny that it was my first trip to Vegas, Sin City, and this is the town I’m in when he passes. My middle brother was by his side, being the golden child of the family fate would of course shine on him to give him this position of honor. My youngest brother was at work in L.A. and burst out laughing upon hearing that I was in Las Vegas. You see my father was a pastor, and I was a disappointment, so my being far away from Minneapolis in Las Vegas was truly the only fitting place for me to be as took his last breaths.
I was the first born in my family, so for 2 1/2 glorious years I was the one and only. When my brother came along, and my father saw what he really wanted from a child, I was demoted. Being female with a fundamentalist legalistic pastor father was no treat either. I’ll devote other blog posts to exploring our relationship but for now lets just call it bad.
So a year went by and as the days came closer to the anniversary of his death I became more and more disturbed. Troubled by thoughts of how long I have left to live and was I being honest with myself. I wasn’t. I live in fear and shame and heaps of bitterness. Stepping one foot in front of the other, without seeing the path, I signed up for a blogging course; committed to show myself in an honest blog and took the first steps in letting my father go.
After a night of making sure I felt nothing (details not necessary), I wrote some pages telling my father how I felt and that I decided that January 30, 2016 was my new birthday, the day after the anniversary of his death, as I started a new life. I then drove to the cemetery to give them to him.
I had movie images in my head of crying at reading his tombstone, crying at his grave, tearing up the pages I wrote and crumbling them over the top. I’d called to find the exact location: Tranquility 4413. LOL! I know they make names like Tranquility, Peace and Eternal Rest to comfort love ones but I find it silly now. So I get there and drive to where I vaguely remember us parking the previous year. The markers in the snow weren’t in order and placed very randomly. Nothing indicated the “Tranquility” area and unless someone had been at the grave recently, they were all covered in snow. I kept driving, stopping and walking around trying to find some rhyme or reason to the marker placement and I couldn’t find any. Looking for my father and unable to find him; I figured there was probably some amazing parallel I should draw from this but it escaped me. I went back to the spot that I expected his grave to be took out the pages I’d written and then ripped them up and covered them in snow. Sobbed for maybe 60 seconds and then I was done. That’s really all that was left.
I then drove around the area as this was the last town I would have called home, where my father left the church and where my parents divorced. I told myself as I drove past various locations of events of my life, “this is the past – you don’t live here anymore”; our old church, my last real home, my father’s last home where my estranged step-mother lives, the street light I crashed into while drunk at 15, the park I used to swing in after sneaking out of the house to get high, the streets I walked to school and the pool hall of the boy that never wanted me.
Cathartic? A little. I’m a bit immobilized from it all.