Bonnie’s Beach 🏖

My Life. My Experiences. My Love. My Words.

Memories For Memorial Day And A Father’s Birthday…

on May 25, 2015

Today is Memorial Day. It is a day to remember those who have given their lives for this country.  Those lives have given me the freedom to write this blog, and I can never thank them enough. Some of you know that I was in the Army.  I do not consider myself a veteran of any sort, as I took an option to get out early (personal circumstances at the time) with an honorable discharge.  I was in less than a year, and I miss it.  The best part was meeting some of the best people I know and have stayed connected with through the years.  We all live so far away from one another, but thanks to FB we have stayed connected.  I appreciate them more than they will ever know.  Thank you for your service.  

Today is also my father’s 60th birthday.  The older I get the more I realize I don’t know him.  It’s no one’s fault really.  We are just two completely different people.  We don’t talk.  We don’t hang out.  We awkwardly ask how the other is doing, both wanting to have a conversation, but those conversations just seem to resemble infomercials where we’re both trying to sell coins to one another, albeit shiny ones.  Most of the time I think it’s because I’m a girl.  Other times I think I’m not logical enough to talk to him about anything resembling logical intelligence.  Other times, I think we’re just both really bad at taking walls down that have no real reason to be up.  

Needless to say, my dad and I are not very close.  Rarely do I see the side of him that lights up with boyhood brightness.  When I do see it, it’s always with someone else.  Writing this is not easy, just so you know.  This post is not meant to show how terrible my dad is or how crappy his daughter is. It may be entirely my fault that he and I aren’t closer.  It’s even harder working in the same office building and hearing how he talks to everyone else with happiness in his voice.  Sometimes I get to hear him say hi to everyone and then he walks by me.  God forbid there be any showing of “favorites” in the workplace.  There isn’t any.  He asked me to lunch once.  Well, a lunch without an agenda attached.  It was awkward beyond belief.  Here I am in my thirties expecting some sort of lecture the entire time.  It never came.  Now that was strange.  What was even more disheartening was that when he asked me to lunch, my boss was just as shocked.  My boss has watched me grow up and has known my dad nearly my entire life.  He knows, unlike anyone else in the office, how close my dad and I are not.  

For my dad’s birthday, I bought him a journal, along with a couple of randoms; the traditional sudoku book (he loves sudoku puzzles), and a steam engine die sheet metal model he can put together (something I thought was pretty cool).  My dad is sooooooooooo not easy to buy for.  What do you get a person who has everything they need and buys whatever they want, and they only tell you they want socks?  So the only truly meaningful gift I got him was the journal.  He may never use it, and that is perfectly fine.  I would actually hope he’d at least use it in some random way like to start a fire in some strange act of survivalism. At least then I would know it had served a purpose other than to collect dust.  I wrote him a note in this one.  A tradition I enjoy doing when gifting books or journals.  I believe they always add more meaning to the gift.  I’m weird.  I know this, but it makes it more personal when you write down a tiny bit of your heart on paper.  The journal is for one thing, his memories.  I told him to write down anything he wanted to.  Memories of his childhood, my childhood, whatever he wanted.  As long as they were memories.  They could be happy or sad or whatever.  I figure since we don’t sit down and have heartfelt conversations, maybe I could get to know him this way.  It’s a thought, right?  So now we will just have to see if he does anything with it.  He’s a busy man, and his free time is usually filled with something, so adding something to a voluntary to-do list may be out of the question.  I don’t know.  

What I do know is time passes faster than we realize.  Faster than I realize.  I wish there were more times than the random holidays when family would get together and talk story.  We have moved so far beyond the days of sitting around fires and sharing stories and passing on tall tales and valiant battles. Although let me just put this out there, I am a horrible story teller!!!  Absolutely terrible!  I can write a story, but saying it out loud it becomes some garbled mess of words with no point.  What I think I am really trying to say through this post, is that I do not want to speak at the funeral of a man I do not know.  Time is only going to increase in speed, and there is only so much time to get to know anyone.  If I don’t get to know the man who helped bring me into this world (albeit accidentally), then I have no one to blame but myself. He has been a dutiful dad, and I miss the days when we would play a new Nintendo game or build a new Lego set.  Those days are gone.  Now I don’t know him at all.  No more train rides.  More more high railing.  No more jumping through inner tubes in the pool.  No more running through waves at the beach.  All those memories I have from so long ago.  All the memories that aren’t made due to not knowing how to make them anymore.  Time is fleeting, and memories fade…

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Birthday Dad

-Bonnie

   
 


21 responses to “Memories For Memorial Day And A Father’s Birthday…

  1. Madi Boltwood says:

    Aww 🙂 I can’t believe he is 60! Wow…. I am about to wish him happy birthday. I have Benn doing homework all day. °_°

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kindashy says:

    I hope your Father does read your blog………

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kindashy says:

    The only thing I can tell you is that there’s no time like the present to pursue renewed familiarity with Dad…..for a lot of us, that opportunity is no longer there and many of us would give up all we possess to be able to have it again…..

    Don’t let this turn into a regret…….

    Like

    • oceangrrrl says:

      I don’t regret anything, but standing there and watching him read cards and open gifts, and mine just lies there. I don’t even get a seat at the family table. I get put at some other table for dinner. I don’t know why I try anymore. I don’t know why I let it get to me anymore. I don’t know why I even allow it to happen. So many other people out there who take the time to talk to me or see me, and my own dad is oblivious to me presence. I’m such a disappointment that I am invisible.

      Like

      • Madi Boltwood says:

        No I don’t think that you’re a disappointment, maybe he doesn’t know how you really feel? Maybe with everything going on he could be thinking the same thing? I am actually very proud of y o u because I remember a time when you didn’t go near them. I think that maybe he is blinded by an opinion? But don’t listen to me, listen to you,! 🙂 GOOD NIGHT! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kindashy says:

    That Little Lady right there is all the justification you need to be proud of where you are today….!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heather says:

    Oh, this one hit me right in the feels. ❤

    Like

  6. katageek says:

    Regarding your father, I think what is lacking for many with such relationships like yours (and there are a lot!), is a MEDIUM for natural communication to occur.

    At this point lunch SUCKS as a medium.

    My best friend had this kind of relationship with his father. But he discovered that when they did physical work together where each depended upon the other, walls dropped and real communication occurred. In his case, his dad and him built a huge fence around his father’s ranch. It’s amazing what months, heat, ticks, fire ants and barbed wire can do to tear down walls.

    So, one thing you may try to find such a medium and recruit him for it. You may want to write your dad a note that says essentially this:

    “Dad,

    I know you are a good man and I love you and I know you love me. But let’s face it, we’re not close at all and everyone knows it. And I think it would be wrong for us to leave this world without enjoying the best sides of each other – the sides we have never seen. I think we should consider doing a project together that requires cooperation over time that forces us to be our raw selves with each other, something like refurbishing a room, working for habitat for humanity for a few months. We have a wall, but I don’t think it is something that sweat, swearing, laughing and alcohol cannot take down. If you like this idea, let me know and then let’s bounce ideas off of each other until we find a project we can get behind. And let’s make it count for something bigger than ourselves.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • oceangrrrl says:

      That’s a really sweet idea, but you don’t know my dad. We have attempted to work together. I have offered to help him on many occasions and have brought up charity things to do as well. My dad will instead get my stepbrother to help or just do it himself without telling me. As far as charity work, my dad doesn’t even help with the one his company supports. I have brought it up to him many times. In regards to the note, I wrote him one, in the journal I gave him for his birthday. It is still sitting in the bag, unopened, with all the other gifts he couldn’t care less about.
      So you see, this relationship can’t and won’t be repaired by building a fence. This might be one that never gets mended, and you know what? I will still try to be a loving daughter as best I can. It is what it is. And there must be a time where I can finally realize this is just the way this life is going to be. Que sera, sera!

      Like

      • katageek says:

        Well THAT sucks.

        Well then, I suggest you pursue virtue not love. And by virtue I mean it like the Stoics and Pythagoreans did. Virtue to them was a free-will action based on three inter-dependent thing:

        1. Power. Assess all the power that you really possess.
        2. Reason. Use all the reason you actually have.
        3. Deliberate Choice. Go your best DELIBERATE way.

        When the greeks said “Virtue is it’s own reward” they weren’t talking about the ten commandments. They were talking about this:

        Your Virtue = Your Power + Your Reason + Your Deliberate Choice

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Alexander Scavello says:

    I almost kind of teared up reading this, as I too am not very close with my dad. My parents divorced when I was seven and my dad and I have always been…I don’t quite know how to put it…of two different mindsets. Many times I wanted a closer father and son relationship, but I came to realize it was not going to go the way I wanted. My father is from a different generation, and a somewhat different culture. While we are Italian, he was born there the fifth of five children but much younger than his siblings. I really don’t know very much about my fathers relationship to his father as he passed away when I was very young. My father rarely speaks of it, but I think that is a big reason for the seemingly endless divide between us at times. He never had that type of storybook 1950’s tv show father and son relationship, and in turn he didn’t know how to have one with me. We have had our ups and down over the years, but only recently I tried writing to him and (almost) fully and completely telling him EXACTLY who and what I am. I didn’t go in expecting much but I think I’ve made an impasse if you will, he seemed to be surprisingly open to it. Only problem is we normally see each other three, maybe four days a year as he is in Texas and I am stuck here. Even the few times a year we make it home to Texas I get a few hours at most, and the wicked stepmother and / or Rebecca is always there so we never really get to have that “talk” like I want to. So I can totally understand and sympathize with how you felt when you wrote this, as I am there now. As I have not read ahead and am going in order (SPOILER ALERT LOL) I certainly hope you managed to bridge that gap with your father, as I am trying to do with mine. As you have said many times, life is short and we only get one shot at it.

    Sorry for the long winded response, I just feel such an attachment to so many of the things you write about as I too have experienced them in one form or another. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has faced certain struggles, not that I wish them upon you or anyone else. Life can just be very lonely sometimes when you think you face the world alone. it’s comforting and refreshing to know their are…what is the expression? Kindred spirits…although I must admit I don’t know EXACTLY what that means, I think it means we have been walking in each others shoes.

    Hugs Bon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oceangrrrl says:

      I truly appreciate your response on this one. Even when you know you’re not going through life alone, there’s a dark voice in your soul that whispers that you are all alone. Sometimes it’s impossible to drown it out.
      This post was actually quite edited down from the original at the request of my stepmother, whom I love dearly. Out of respect to her, I cut out quite a bit in regards to some harsh times between me and my dad.
      My dad wasn’t ready for kids when I accidentally popped into existence. He has always been there for me and made sure I had everything I needed growing up. But I always felt like girl who was supposed to be a boy, but I was still just a girl. So many things I see my dad share with my stepbrother and past boyfriends that I wish he’d share with me. I think the vagina is a roadblock. Not that he doesn’t love the shit out of me. I know he does. But I think he’s more restricted with himself due to me being a girl. Sounds silly. I know. We’ve tried to get closer, and we have. Conversations have become a bit more open. We live two minutes away from each other. The largest barrier for me is the religious factor. I am more open. He is very hardcore church. But I love my dad and do all I can to prove myself. I’ll never be able to stop trying to earn his affection and approval. Even though I am really good at being the black sheep.

      Like

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