Sunday, June 17, 2012

mexican food & my father.

It never fails that every time we enter inside a mexican restaurant I become fixated on the memories of my father, and conversations about him come up.  Although I didn't know him very well what I do remember are not good things. For the most part he never harmed my sister or I, and in some way I sensed that he did care. Memories of my father are nebulous but there is one memory that has stuck with me in which he came meandering to our house in the middle of the night. I must have been about six or seven.

Those midnight visits occurred one too many times, and I knew that he would be gone in the morning. As much as my mom wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt year after year in seeing that he would change...he never did. I know this because he did it again once more when I was about 15. He came back in he middle of the night, slept over, and left...again.

That was the last time I ever saw him.

Memories of my father have since been ameliorated and the only time I'm reminded of him is when mexican food is involved. Unfortunately I mostly remember the horrible fights that he and my mother had. The fact that most fights occurred while my mom was cooking dinner, the memory of seeing pinto beans flying around the kitchen is something a six year old doesn't want to remember.  Luckily my brave sister was always there to rescue me. She'd wrap her arms tightly around mine to protect me from the tumultous noise that we were hearing. She always took me behind a curtain to hide until we no longer heard metal clashing, scuffle sounds, or yelling voices.

We waited until we heard my fathers footsteps fading away as he slammed the screen door. Slammed the screen door so hard that it literally shook both my sister and I. The sound of our mother sighing, and lamenting while she was on her knees cleaning up the mess that had just occurred in the kitchen made me feel so sorry for her. We slowly tip toed into the kitchen to see if she was okay, and while she tried to look "brave" the look on her face was that of relief. Relieved that she yet survived another round of domestic abuse.

My mind in regards to my father for the past 35 years has been brave. Brave enough to continue to accept the fact that I may never see him again. Brave enough to discuss him with my mother whom I shall say is really the strong one. I really don't have a desire to find him, but I often wonder about him. Wondering if he's still alive somewhere and thinking of me, or my sister. I have tried, and feel as if I have succeeded in remembering some of the happy moments of my biological father.

Truth is I don't have very many.

That's okay because I have succeeded in ways that have fulfilled my life until now.

Succeeded because I have a wonderful loving husband who does no harm to me or my children.

Succeeded because I made the choice long ago that I would never commit to someone who would hurt me.

The remembrance of my father's actions has also allowed me to forgive.

Forgive because it's the right thing to do.

I have been guided by the Divine in which led me to a wonderful soul. A wonderful soul whose light shines. A soul so kind, compassionate, thoughtful, spiritual, and patient.

So patient that while we eat mexican food, and the subject of my father comes up he will listen. Listens because he is grateful for being raised by two wonderful parents. Listens because he will never know how it feels to be raised without a father. Listens because he is in awe in the way I have handled my childhood growing up without my biological father. Listens because he wants to be able to help me in ways to unmask the trauma that I suffered.

And for the past 18 years...he's helped.

That wonderful soul is my husband.

I love my better half with all of my heart, and on this Father's day I am extremely grateful to him for the love he has for me. He loves our children so much that he would sacrifice anything for them. He is the one I prayed for who would love, and accept me unconditionally.

So unconditionally that the love that he has for me reminds me of the love that Heavenly Father has for all of us.

I'll tell you something else-where ever my father is, he's missing out on the joy of being a grandpa to these four beautiful souls.
Who knows...maybe someday he might pop back into my life. Someday...someday. 

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