So, my dad died a week ago today from injuries sustained in a car accident.
I have been "fatherless" for a week, technically speaking. But based on our rocky relationship, I have been fatherless for far longer due to numerous understandings and misunderstandings. But I have to say, this past week I've been acutely aware that I have one less layer of protection in the world, even though I stopped needing a dad years ago, even though he hadn't been my "dad" for years.
I spoke with a pastor today who commented dryly that single parenthood wasn't a very sexy cause, so to speak, but that single parents impact us all--individually, societally, corporately. We need to be committed to them, to each other, even though our life's not terribly glamorous, even though it's often a slog, day in, day out...first right then left.
I know a little more about my father now that he's died. I know more the reasons of why, perhaps, he didn't have it in him to do the daily slog with me.
I know that God in His mercy has seen fit to give me the best rental dads a girl could ask for. And one special one who's considering a lease-to-buy option. :)
I know that I didn't want to need things from my dad. But maybe he needed to be needed.
As I continue to process his death and my new place in life, I'm reminded that I need to stay anchored. It is easy to feel alone and untethered as a single mom, and especially easy now with the thought that occupies much of my time and brainspace these days: Huh. He's gone. Some friends who've lost parents already have been especially tender with me, knowing the questioning, understanding the floundering and for that, I'm especially grateful.
But as much as I ache for a different ending with him, I know that I must continue contributing to a different ending of my own. It's why I want to continue this good work started here with Eve's Daughters and why I continually invite others to join me.
Maybe we'll get to the point where there's community instead of polarity, of a miles-traveled marathon versus a quick check-in. Maybe our glamorless status will become nearly comical in its irony: Because we'll have each other, and that's a thing a beauty.
And perhaps most important, those relationships create another layer of protection: of caring, of concern, of listening, laughing, crying, walking...living...in an uncertain world. And maybe that's plenty more than any of us can hope for, giving or receiving.