Lots of children lose their fathers and my brother and I were no exception. First we lost him to work and his silences when he was home, then we lost him to the younger secretary at work, and finally lost him altogether to a new marriage and family. In with the new and out with the old. No cross contamination. However, since I am a product of the fifties there is still the desire to put a false front on the image, buy the perfect Hallmark card that will set things right. There will be no setting things right here, no sitcom ending for a foolish misunderstanding of words or deeds. We were the reminders of a failed family. Replaceable cogs in an inefficient milling machine. And the new wife had even less desire to keep mementos of past loves lurking about in her kitchen and dining room. Life is so much better when debris is swept clean and clear and fresh starts are all that loom on the horizon. There was no place for the arms of two children tugging at sleeves and holding on.
So today is Father's Day and Honey Haired Girl and I will drive to see my father, her grandfather, and we will make small talk and hand out cards and pretend that we are of some importance to him. Then we will get back in our car and drive home to cook up a little supper for the father in this home to whom we are important. The one who is requesting a grilled hamburger with bleu cheese and a cold beer when he gets off work this evening. I'm happy to make it for him. It's not always easy to be a father despite what we see on TV in 30 minute blundering increments and there isn't always a satisfying ending. I appreciate my husband more than bleu cheese and cold beer could say.