Bonus posting. I don't usually write on Saturdays but tomorrow is Father's Day and I wanted to share with you Charlotte's fourth father letter - the one written to the man who stepped in and assumed the role of re-parenting her. Matters not that he's actually younger than her. It's never too late to get good fathering.
June 21, 2009 Dear Father, OK, so you’re not my father but certainly in the last ten months you have played the part of the good parent as I struggle with childhood deficits and losses. I am grateful to you; it is to you that I owe the rest of my life.
I never thought I’d be OK. In my most honest moments I resigned myself to feeling fractured, confused, angry and incomplete. But most of the time I joked I had few regrets – I was satisfied with my life achievements and that, if I had been a Pilgrim, I would have been dead by now. I maintained that my life was good and I was ready to die having accomplished what I set out to – that any more days on this earth were just icing on the cake - a bonus.
And I had myself convinced until I met you. When I met you I was, at first, skeptical, then I was impressed, then I was scared. Finally I admitted to myself that you were my path and if I could learn to trust you I could be well. And who are you? How could a man seven years younger hold the key to my happiness? It seems so unlikely. Shouldn’t you have a long beard and be sitting on top of a mountain waiting for me to complete a journey and come to you?
Our relationship amazes me. Perhaps we passed each other on the street before now, not knowing that we would share such a bond – two people born on different continents, years apart, from different cultures who have found each other and who are now part of each other’s lives in the most caring and wonderful way.
And Kaveh, I will love you always. Each day I say a prayer, thanking the universe for bringing you to me. Your steady presence in my life has filled in the fractures and bolstered me. Your unconditional love has helped me learn to love others in a better way. Your ability to embrace a full range of emotions (even the ugly ones) gives me courage to do the same. Your carefulness in how you express yourself and how you measure others’ feelings before acting and speaking inspires me to do the same.
Dear Kaveh have a Happy Father’s Day and know you are treasured beyond measure.
Thanks good readers for letting me share the father letters with you. It was three years ago that I struggled greatly with the father thing. Writing these letters helped a bit, good to get my feelings elucidated on paper. I actually printed and mailed the letters to a nonsense address, except the one to Kaveh which I mailed to him.
Challenge today is just to enjoy the weekend, honor your father in whatever way that feels right, whether he's alive or passed on. These days I'm less angry and angst filled about fathers - the fire feelings have died down. I'm glad for you if you have a dad who loves you.