June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Summer squash, cukes, hot peppers & the first tomato -- not bad for first harvest.
I remember when my dad was dying (like literally, the last few days of his life, while he was in the hospital and we all hoped this wasn't the final stay), a few things happened that were so funny that everyone in the room laughed.  And we didn't just laugh a little bit.

That laughter in the face of impending death was full-on body-racking tear-jerking belly laughter.  Midway through one of these shared laughter-fits,  I remember being shocked that this was possible.  I was feeling some of the most intense joy and mirth that I'd ever felt.  Right there, in the middle of the worst pain and sadness I'd ever felt.

Today, I woke with a desire to call my brother.  I wanted to thank him for being such a wonderful father.  I'd just dropped his daughter off for camp yesterday and she'd been our guest last week, so I had firsthand knowledge of what a great job he's been doing.  But before I called, I logged into Facebook.  And, I was met with a wall of happy fathers and children.

So. Much. Exuberant. Celebration...   So wonderful.  But also: ouch.

Staring at the screen, I knew there were folks who agreed that fathers should be celebrated, and yet, if they were like me, then this day would also bring their own personal losses painfully in focus (and some wouldn't even have the benefit of brother-fathers or others they can call).

It struck me that this emotion was just like the almost absurd laughter the week my father died.  Humans are capable of such a crazy range of simultaneous emotion, and sometimes, the big feelings in one area open the doors to the big ones in another area.

I feel the most loss for Dad just at the same time that I'm so happy and joyous for all of those around me who are celebrating the dad-is-still-here-and-great things.

So, before I called brother, in hopes of comforting others in (or near) my boat, I selected a fun photo of Dad and posted it with a promise of virtual hugs for anyone who needed them.

In honor of my dad, I'm sending a big huge bear hug to anyone who could use a hug this father's day. {{HUGS}}
The response was impressive.  Many of my friends and Dad's friends and fans liked it -- they'd all been recipients of his hugs, which were the best.  But, also, acquaintances and friends with fathers/husband-fathers who have passed (some of whom I didn't know about), single mothers, and people with difficult relationships with their fathers liked it.  It was clear that even in my small FB circle, there is quite a bit of pain in the middle of the father's day celebration, and I felt honored that Dad had given me an opportunity to acknowledge it and offer big bear hugs.  Who doesn't want a bear hug to soothe their pain? 

What really gave me chills was the comment from the acquaintance on FB who asked if I knew who was in the Barney suit.  I did not.  It was a family friend, very close to Dad, a father, who'd passed just last year.  At times like these I just can't help but feel that Dad is still with me.  I had literally thousands of photos I could have selected to send my FB message of big bear hugs from Dad to those who need them, and yet, somehow, I chose this one, which obviously resonated with Barney's family.  I love it when I feel like Dad is obviously with me.  And today, I do.

In other news, Niece Week destroyed my workouts.  And it was totally worth it. 

Looks like she'll be taller next year.
Weekly mileage: 14.73, most of it walking with niece.  Instead of running, I did a full day of SF fun (Beach Chalet, California Academy of Sciences, Japanese Tea Garden) with Mom and Niece, plus some street soccer kick/pass time and walks with the Niece to lunches, dinners, pedicures, and Jurassic World at our local theatre.  I wouldn't trade the time with her for anything.  But I am excited about my upcoming commitment to quality and speed with more cross-training for the rest of the Summer.


L.A. Runner said...

I really admire your attitude. My father is alive and well, but a few years ago was in a coma from an accident on Father's Day. I remember feeling insanely jealous. Nice to know you are close to your brother and other family. I know it doesn't fill the void, but family brings happiness.

Arvay said...

Aw. Giant {{{hugs}}} to you. Father's Day is not a day that has meaning to me, but I like all the Father's Day posts on FB because happy families sharing positive emotions are always nice to see. :)

Arvay said...
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Jen said...

I thought your post was perfect, so even though I never met your dad, I "liked" the photo. I refrained from posting anything myself, mostly because my dad isn't on social media (sidenote: it's crazy to me how that doesn't stop other people from posting photos...), and also because I know that there are those out there for whom it's a bittersweet or sad day. HUGS!! xo

Biting Tongue said...

Thanks for the positive comments, all!