Okay, what kinds of trigger warnings do you need? Probably should just slap them on me, I just don’t notice either the damage or the triggers anymore and my mouth gets away from me
A kid who lost her father young tries to explain why it really sucks, no really it does and the predictable fracas plays out in a public space.
I just lost my mother earlier this year - she was essentially ninety, had lived a long and incredibly full life and I have no regrets whatsoever about her passing.
But she had survived my father by 47 years.
He was 46 years old when he died, and I would be 31 before I got a complete answer on what had killed him. (That’s a story for another day.)
I was 6. What’s that like.
That’s birthday parties and summer vacations.
Father/Daughter dances, Girl Scout promotions, camp outs and bike rides.
Tumbleweed forts, treehouses, and school plays.
Catching moths, field mice and toads. Finding preying mantis’ of every color from straw to purple.
Endless skits, pranks, piano recitals and bad jokes.
School newspapers all through elementary, high school and college, internships, making the Dean’s List, graduations and first jobs.
Bad prose and worse poetry entered into scholarship contests.
Meeting someone, falling in love and getting married.
Comparing adventures as you go have them.
Marching through the days until death parts you from them.
Doing it all again, and wondering how you got so lucky.
All of that gone. With one mistake.
A lifetime missed - name it, and it was.
Foofy dresses and blue jeans with little regard to gender.
Hamburger gravy for breakfast like Dad did in the Air Force during WWII. (Too. MUCH. PEPPER. ACK.)
Listening to stories told by other people instead of knowing them for yourself.
Looking for newspaper clippings and photographs taken by other people.
Wondering how much you look like him when everyone keeps telling you that you resemble your mother and you don’t see it.
Knowing you inherited his allergies and some of the orthopedics and wondering what else you got.
Finding other people willing to do the things a male parent would with you (some roles just didn’t translate in the seventies), and failing most of the time - so you don’t do them and you’re the only one stayed home.
Knowing you have no idea what to do with a Dad, even if you had one.
You always hear about fictional characters who lose their mothers, but very few who lost fathers - and fatherless daughters, not at all.
I really feel for Frances, I can’t help it. FWIW, it’s incredibly short-sighted to wish for the “cool factor” being famous and dead would provide, and maybe it’s harsh to call it out for what it is - self-serving egocentricity - but it’s one hell of an education to be the kid who lost a parent that way, and if I can share the useful parts of that education, I believe I must. Or at least try.
It’s impossible to be gentle when you do.
You get what everyone gets. You get a life. And dammit, it is ALWAYS a great time to be alive.
Don’t you ever forget it.