I don’t imagine it is too uncommon to be painfully aware of someone’s absense when life events happen. I know since my children were born, I have a bittersweet melancholy every so often thinking about how my dad would have loved the children, and they him. Remembering how he was with me, my sisters and niece, I think how much my daughter would enjoy him like we did in those loving, funny interactions, and soothing of egos and emotions. I think sweetly about how he and my son could enjoy guy time, and all the things my dad would love to share with him were he here. Teaching him everything from woodworking to using a chainsaw to fixing everything around the house, to blowing things up !
When I think of my children’s father, my husband, it is not just pain, or sadness at the loss. It is rage. It is a frightening dance with a demon inside me that cannot forgive him. That is so angry all I can do is cry. Mourn what could have been. Not for what he did to me; took from me. For what he has deprived his children of.
I struggle to not have them see how devastated I am that he made a choice to not be here to celebrate their acheivements with us. From his son’s pending birthday five days from the day he shot me, through holidays and birthdays and mastering new skills. Father/child events, and family events and sports. A transition from boyhood in moving from cubscouts to boyscouts, and attending middle school orientation. There is a palpable gap between us and the world during those events. All of us, putting on such a brave face. Holding on to one another for dear life, silent looks that break my heart.
There are plenty of dads that are alive, and choose not to participate in their kid’s lives. However, their children have a chance to confront it. To love him, or hate him. My children must wrestle with the seasons of mourning intermingled with memories, and the realization of what their father stole from them; a carefree innocence, the security of being loved like I was by my father, the ability to make peace by seeing him in the clear light of day of adulthood.
It is surely the children who pay the highest price for domestic violence, verbal and emotional abuse. What they witness is imprinted on their hearts for a lifetime.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. Kahlil Gibran