Friday, October 26, 2007

Dad: A dirty little word

Mom: "I saw your grandmother last night."
Me: "Did you ask her about... umm... dad?"
Mom: "I didn't want to bring him up."


Since when did the word dad become unspeakable? When did dad get grouped into the category with the racial slurs, angry curses and plain verbal abuse?

Since when did everything dad stands for become so hideous that he can't even be brought up in a conversation? No "how is dad?" and "where is dad?" No "I love you dad" or "You're the best, dad."

The man (C.) who fills this fatherless hole in my life has tried to convince me that it's better to have had a dad, than to have had him whisked tragically away. His dad died of cancer when he was a boy.

I'm not so sure. In his house, dad IS a hero. He rides into their lives on a stallion as John Wayne. He gathers the kids in the yard for a game of catch as Babe Ruth.

If not in real life, in imagination.

At least his dad gave him that.

What do you think: Better to have lost a great dad than to still have one that is not mentioned at all?


madelena said...

Wow Sarah, this is a really personal post! I give you a lot of respect to open up about such a deep and personal topic, and to take it away from the relationship theme (not that it's bad, I.E that's why I read the blog and why it's so popular). Nonetheless, I can appreciate a discussion like this.

Well, coming from a similar situation Sarah, I don't know what's worse. I, like you, have a father and although we do mention his name (because he does live in the house) I don't think I've ever made it past the 'hi dad' stage (and I'm 23). In fact, I don't remember him before the age of 16.
So I don't know what's worse.
Being able to create the image of what a father 'should' or 'could' be, or having the realization of who your father really is; the one that constantly rejects you.
I don't know Sarah, I think that both situations have their set of problems, just in different ways with different affects.
But I am a firm believer that you are never given more than you can handle, so apparently we are two very strong women! ;)

(and since you were brave and spoke about something like this, I will be brave and not remain anonymous)

Sarah said...

Madelena, I'm so glad this post pulled at your heart strings. I also look at the hardships of a sub-standard dad as a positive. It gives me inspiration to write many short stories, columns and now this blog. And that lack of love is made up when someone says, "Yeah, me too," especially when they are brave, and reveal what they'd otherwise kept secret.

Thank you.