I must admit it was not my first thought of the day.
Until Facebook decided to not-so-subtly remind me, it did not occur to me that today is Father's Day when I woke up this morning. I had heard some commercials on the radio last week. I had seen some posts on Twitter. But until I saw the trending topics of the day, today was going to be another Sunday.
And then I realized it was not.
As I scrolled through my newsfeed looking at friends and family celebrating this day with pictures and words I realized something. This day will always be complicated. Regardless of the year, the third Sunday of June will always be a day of confusion, like a national holiday marred by a complicated history reflected in a tumultuous present and a uncertain future. A Facebook post could never reflect this complexity.
I'm not sure if words could either.
Even if I could begin to decipher the origins of a relationship left in pieces, it seems difficult to identify a beginning of where it went wrong. I remember a time when he was my hero. A time when I thought he hung the moon. A time when he picked me up and held me upside down in our kitchen and showed me the world in a new perspective. I remember a time when I waited for him to come home from his many trips abroad. A time when I envied his large stack of passports indicating his travels to many different countries. A time when he brought all sorts of goodies from faraway places. A time when a hero could do no wrong.
And then I suppose life happened.
I suppose life stressed him out. I suppose circumstances turned him unkind. I suppose situations became too hard to handle. I suppose at one point he broke. I suppose then cruelty and emotional distress became a new way of life. I suppose that's when the house turned cold. I suppose that's when we stopped communicating. I suppose that's when I stopped caring.
It has been 547 days since I last dialed his number.
In that time, I have changed. He used to tell me to first save myself before I can save others. I no longer believe that. I have no desire or intent to save anyone. But I do want to help. I want to help as many people as I possibly can while I'm still here. I want to help despite my own troubles or circumstances or uncertainties. I want to help despite not knowing what the future may hold. I want to turn my attention to the world around me. I want to understand the problems we are facing and be a part of the solution. I do not want to ever let my life be about me. In that way, he is the foil. Regardless of the questionable genes I have inherited, I want to do good. I want to do and be good. So, in a way, I am grateful for the antithesis. Maybe someday I will be able to celebrate that.
But not today.