Dad did the best he could. Now that’s something we say when we know it could have been much better but we are affording some compassion to a situation that downright sucked. When I think of “Dad” I remember him working two jobs. I remember him irritated and angry, short wicked. I remember tip toe-ing around him hoping that he wouldn’t be upset with me. I remember smelling burnt oil and hearing food frying in my sleep when he came home from bar tending and attempted to cook but would fall asleep because he was drunk. I remember riding home from Virginia Beach late at night from a family vacation and he fell asleep at the wheel and we hit the guard rail and went up onto it. Two parents, 8 children in the car. I remember Christmas Eve, drunk Dad, again, driving us home, in a snowstorm, from his sisters house, me 8 yrs old, praying to God that we would stay on the road and not drive down into the icy waters below.
He died when I was 13. Throat cancer. When I say “he did the best he could” this is absolutely did. He didn’t have the capacity to love, honor and cherish himself. Of course we can’t give from an empty vessel. He was a silhouette of a Dad. He was handsome, a very hard worker. I can’t even say he was loyal to my mother – older siblings speculate that some straying occurred – I was too young to imagine that.
We all looked fabulous together. Like we were living the dream. Which is quite the mind fuck with an absent father, over bearing Mommy Dearest mother and brothers who were sexually molesting me and all of our sisters.
Sure. WE ALL DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH WHAT WE KNOW AT THE MOMENT. Here’s the thing tho…I believe that once we know better, it is our responsibility to follow up on it. Do better, re-evaluate what’s going on in our lives. Want better for yourself. Listen to your higher self….you know, those whispers in the dark of the night, that feeling you get when you’re doing something that really does not serve your betterment. Listen to your gut. Work on your own demons, the darkness we all have. It is our responsibility as humans, to our children, our significant other, friends, coworkers, strangers we pass on the street. People can FEEL the inner work being done. It, unconsciously, gives them the freedom to soften, to allow others to touch their heart, if just for a second.
Come on, people, let’s be who we needed when we were young.