After the deluge of posts that poured out of me around Mother’s Day, I expected a similar flood for Father’s Day. I expected to feel, well, something.
And I haven’t.
In my house, we generally celebrate Father’s Day as Second Mother’s Day, for several reasons: 1) my sister and I don’t have a father, 2) my mom does the work of two parents and therefore deserves to be honored on both days, 3) this way we don’t have to think about the guy that was our so-called “father” for all those horrible years before we declared him dead to our lives.
It works for us.
In previous years I have felt various reactions to Father’s Day: bitterness, anger, sadness, grief, loss, trauma-reactions, etc. It used to be really triggering to see a day that celebrated, for me, the person who literally tortured me and made my life a living hell. This year, though, I don’t feel anything, and I’m not sure why.
Maybe it’s because I’ve forgiven him for everything. Maybe it’s because I truly feel no anger at him anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve really let go of it all. Maybe it’s because I’m just indifferent to him and everything to do with him. I can even pray for his soul. I can’t think of any other reasons that I’m so non-reactive.
Whatever is going on, I’m grateful and glad. I can celebrate Second Mother’s Day with the parent I have, the one who loves me and supports me no matter what, the way a parent should. She deserves all the days. All of them. And I can celebrate them with her without any invasion of memory of the “parent” who doesn’t deserve anything.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed…
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Proverbs 31: 25-29