09 July, 2006

Dead(beat) Dad

...daddy left home when I was three/ and he didn't leave much to ma and me/ just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.....

I suppose I'd always thought that we'd get that call from California letting us know after the fact. I hadn't counted on him reaching out at all, nor could have imagined him reaching out to do some last-minute manipulation. I couldn't have predicted The Sisters' reaction, though Hawk's response to their actions could have been foretold by any two-bit pretend fortuneteller.

The old man is dying, which we knew already. Sooner, rather than later, is the new information.

Is it possible to say goodbye when you've never really said hello?

(A Boy Named Sue; Johnny Cash)


Paul said...

I'm not quite sure what to say to this, frankly. I've known others in similar situations, and have watched them flounder through it. I know two girls whose mother left their father when they were very young, and they both consider him to be this distant person who's vaguely connected to them- but not their father. And I know a woman who has lost her daughter completely to her ex husband, and will never really be a mother to the girl because of forces beyond her control (the father refuses her contact). In all cases, there is a hell of a lot of pain on both sides. This is part of why I've been so heavily active in my kids' lives after the divorce- they need a father, and don't need that pain.

It sounds like it's far too late for your father, and I'm sad for both of you.

Cybele said...

Not my father, Hawk's father. Thought the "Boy Named Sue" clue would have cemented that. MY dad is GREAT. He lives in Minnesota, which means visits aren't frequent, but they're jammed full of love.

His father, I think, was not capable of fatherhood, but only figured that out after four kids. Too soon old, too late smart. It's good that Hawk gets to make his peace.

Paul said...

Mea malus- I wasn't quite with it enough to catch that.

Michael said...

Sorry to hear about Hawk's dad, even if he didn't have much of a relationship... and kudos for the Johnny Cash song -- I know that one by heart!