Thursday, March 17, 2022

My father loved gardening

It's been 19 years since my father died on St. Patrick's Day.  Our relationship was fraught with profound grief, beginning in my early childhood, when he was often absent.  My few childhood memories of him are that he shamed me and was critical of me, leading me to be believe that I was ugly and that no one would ever marry me.

Fortunately, my last visit with him was a good one.  It was his 89th birthday.  I was 53 years old.  As I walked out of the door of his assisted living apartment in West Seattle, he said, "I'll see you at Easter."

I've come a long way since 2003 in understanding intergenerational trauma and the effects it has on father-daughter relationships.  My relationship with my father now is better than it ever has been as I learn to parent myself in ways he could not and let my wounded father rest in peace.

In 2008, just before R died, I wrote this in remembrance of my father.  Blogger has altered the way the photos are seen in the post.  You'll need to click on them to see them in their entirety.

My Abutilon is in full bloom.  The rainbow on March 15 just before sunset was the most beautiful I've ever seen from my porch.

It's still dark outside but I can hear birds chirping because it's early spring and the sun will be rising soon.


NewRobin13 said...

May his memory always be for a blessing. We make peace with the past.
Truly beautiful rainbow, and I see the hint of a second bow. So lovely.

ellen abbott said...

I was not close to either of my parents. there was a family trauma/drama concerning my parents and their marriage and while they stayed together, my father never got over the anger and took it out almost daily on us kids, berating us into a puddle of misery, he would single one of us out while the other two hid in our rooms glad it wasn't us. When I got kicked out of college my first year for smoking pot (didn't catch me but took the word of someone who ratted on me) and my parents came to pick me up my father made me get in the front seat (back when cars still had bench seats) between him and my mother and he grabbed my arms and yanked up my sleeves to check for needle marks. I was so insulted that a door slammed between me and him and it never really fully opened again. Maybe in the few years before his death. He had had a stroke that completely changed his personality.

am said...

O my goodness, Ellen, your family was so much like mine, down to the details of the father looking for needle marks. Not my arm but my middle sister's arm. My father also had a stroke, but it changed his personality from very quiet and passive-aggressive in public situations to rude and bullying when he felt he could get away with that behavior and put people in their place. I am grateful that my father was not rude and bullying the last time that I saw him.

The details are different but the dynamic shows similar family trauma/drama. Thank you for your comment.

Pixie said...

After my father died, my mum told me that I was his favorite which came as a shock. He was an angry man who had a wall around him. I suppose he thought it kept him safe. It kept him separate from those he loved.