My father died seventeen years ago yesterday or today. I can never remember the exact date.
I don't think about my father very much anymore. When I was two my parents separated. They divorced when I was five.
I don't remember him ever living at home and I never lived with him. He remarried soon after the divorce and I found out after his death that his wife didn't like my brother or me and didn't want him around. I thought it was my dad. Maybe it was. But what a thing to think all those years -- that it was primarily him not wanting me around and much of it was his wife.
On the other hand, hello. I wouldn't have done that to my children. We used to go over to his house, when we still lived in the same town, and he would stay in the bedroom with his wife and my brother and I would sit and watch TV for hours until he took us home. It sucked. It sucked being rejected and then rejected again.
I wonder if he were still alive if I would ask him about it now? If he ever would have gotten around to saying he cared or he was sorry? Maybe he didn't care. I have a cousin who swears he was the best person on earth and that he was her best friend in many ways. I can't hardly stand her for that. I can't reconcile that while he avoided me he was going out of his way to be good to her.
Seventeen years ago yesterday or today my father died. He was shoveling snow in a small town in Iowa. I cried during the gun salute at the graveside. I didn't know what I was crying for.
I still don't.