Monday, October 4, 2010

My Invisible Flowers in an Invisible Vase

What is the impact of my father's departure?

Every year, I dream that my father will send me flowers because he loves me. Every year, I receive my invisible flowers in an invisible vase. They are a bittersweet reminder that my father chose to leave his four daughters. He left us physically, financially and emotionally. The crater left on me and all of my family would swallow up the moon and still have room to spare.
My Dad was my dream man! He was smart, funny, handsome, and an adventurer. My love of animals, travel, inventing things and creating ideas all began with my Dad. He set the standard for all men in my life. And with his departure, the standard was burned in my heart.

I have never recovered completely from my Dad leaving and I never will. My choices in men have lead to the eventual departure of each of them in one way or another.

I call my story, Trifeca. Three of the most important men in my life have left me. All three are now dead. My High School boyfriend died in a car accident in 1985, my Dad died in 1992 and my husband died six months later in 1993. How could they?

My dad was my hero and when he left me at the age of 13, I tried to be tough, became ultimately shy and withdrawn, and then over compensated by being gregarious, funny, smart, and available to 'dangerous' boys.

My first true love was a gorgeous person, smoky, mysterious, loving, kind and then he died. He chose to drink and ride with another boy who was also drinking and driving. He left me when I was 17 years old.

My Dad, long ago moved away from us, developed COPD in his fifties. We had only begun what I decided was our journey back to love. He was quickly dying and after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, he left his home in the Florida Keys to come back to North Florida. 30 days later he died. He left me permanently when I was just 26 years old.

My husband, the light of my life, the sun and the moon, my world, promised me that he would stand by me forever. We eloped on a Wednesday at lunch and lived as freely as two dolphins at sea. Six months after my Dad died, he died in an accident. He left me forever when I was 26 years old.

So each year, I wait for those flowers to come, and they come as clear as the air. The impact of these three flowers as painful each time they arrive; or not.