Friday Frenzy

28 Jun

Fridays are my day to ruminate on the happenings of the week, month, year, and even over my lifetime.  Yeah…it goes deep some weeks.

The day began around 5:00 am…a teeny bit earlier than normal for me.  I woke up thinking about my Dad, a familiar thought since he passed away last year. My thoughts of him, however, are random…sometimes waking me up from a deep sleep and other times a thought interrupts me in the midst of an activity, unrelated to anything going on at the moment…it just pops into my head.  Daddy’s gone!  No more answering the unexpected call from my Dad, “Hello Beautiful”, his standard greeting over the phone or in person.

I knew only a few things for certain growing up. I knew that the sun rose and set on me…that I was beautiful in my father’s eyes – that I was intelligent in my father’s eyes – that I was the best Sandra that I could be in my father’s eyes.  I knew discipline from my father, without rejection.  I knew love from my father and, I always knew, without even thinking about it, that his love was unconditional.

Having a great relationship with my father, I conversely was a witness to his not-so-great relationship with my mother.  It was difficult for me to divide my loyalties and my love.  I often felt that I had to hide my feelings for my father to appease my mother…not that she ever hinted that this was an expectation.  The mind of a child tries to make sense out of things that make no sense and it made no sense to me that my father could be such a great guy on one hand and an ass of a husband on the other.  As an adult, I see it clearly but at 8, I only knew that I was one of only a handful of kids in my neighborhood that lived with her biological father, and probably only one out of one hundred that shared the same father as my brother and sister.  On top of that, my father, that lived in our home and was married to my mother, played with us.  He took me and my siblings on bike trails, on picnics, to the park, to the lakefront of Chicago…he dragged us everywhere.  From the Chicago car show, to Comiskey Park to see the White Sox, my childhood is filled with great memories of exploring Chicago with him.  From teaching me to drive in ice and snow with one hand (just in case I had coffee in the other hand), to taking me on a trip of the city transit system to show my how to get to the magnet high school I would attend 1.5 hours away by train, my Dad was an amazing man.

Juxtapose this awesome father with the man that had a different girlfriend every week, while married, and you can see the dilemma of a young girl that idolized her father.  Even knowing this, for my own sanity, I had to hide my head under a pillow on the nights they argued, pretend that I didn’t know who my father was whispering on the phone with the nights my mother worked late, and ignore the looks he gave and received when I was out and about with him.  As I became older, I became bolder and would confront my father, filter his calls, and in other ways “block” his fans from gaining access, but it was a futile battle.

By the time I was in college, my parents were headed towards a permanent separation, one that would free my mother and, eventually, be the downfall of my father.  Without her attentiveness, he was unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Eating fast food, smoking nonstop and just living off the lamb was his undoing, dying of coronary heart disease at the young age of 68.

I do miss his “Hello Beautiful” random calls and his hugs that took my breath away, however, I cherish the memories, good and the not-so-good, that defined my life and laid the foundation of who I am today.


One Response to “Friday Frenzy”

  1. Thea June 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    This is so moving! I can relate to this in so many ways! A father’s love can be truly amazing, eh?! XOXO

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