For a while I’ve been wanting to,putting off getting in touch for a few weeks now.
The honest truth is I don’t know how to. We’ve barely spoken this year simply because I didn’t want to. How could I when you still say you wish you’d hit me harder as a child so I’d have learned my lesson. Or if you were honest you’d say so you’d have beaten me into submission. It’s strange that you always say how brave I was on a sports field yet you can’t see the courage it took for the six year old little boy that I was to fight back and say no. I remember I fought back,I kicked,I screamed and you you stopped. The hair pulling didn’t stop straight away but I won.
But when you left a message a few weeks ago something different happened. Yes,as usual you were semi smashed,yes it was only to talk football. But something had shifted in me and I heard a very lonely man reaching out to his eldest child in the only way he knew.
But how do I call this man? How do I call and say I love you and I’m here when every time I’ve done that you’ve pushed me away. How do I say I forgive you when you don’t believe there’s anything to forgive?
I’ve waited so,so many years for you to once say you love me,say I’m a son you wanted. To call me to ask how I am,am I ok. Not to have you call at 11.30 at night and say you’re trying to date a 40 year old. You’re 76 for christ”s sake.
To say how’s work and actually know what work I do. It’s not so fucking hard to ask you know.
Yesterday though something I’d not expected happened. Sitting in a workshop with the wonderful David Whyte your spirit came to me. Strong,kind,beautiful and put your arm around me and told me you love me. You sat there for a wee while with your arm around me and I knew it was the truth. You showed me all your fears that stop you loving me and being loved by me.
I am touched by your generosity in coming to visit with me like this. Perhaps this was because you need to let me know before you die. I know your cancer returned and you’ll be downplaying it. I know you want to live for as long as possible because Annie(my 23yo half sister) has already lost her mum and she’s really young to have no parents.
I know you all do your best to find flaws in me and it’s easy. But I know that you’ll know the one who’ll look after her after your gone is me. She’s my sister and I’ve loved her since the day she was born and the family crap has her not speaking to me for no reason except the mess of family politics. But I’ll be there to wipe her tears,hold her screams. You know that.
Somehow I’m coming to a place of peace with you and I.
You’re a fool and an idiot and it’s not your fault. You carry the legacy of a pretty fucked up family with you. You’re an old guy and why should I even hope you’ll change-brick walls hurt heads.
But I can change.And I am.
I love you. I really do and miss you.
I promise I’ll make that call very soon.
Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow
I’ll ride the wave
Where it takes me
I’ll hold the pain
I forgive you,Dad.