Greeting Cards Don’t Always Say the Right Thing…

my granddad, my father and I… not sure when… I look about 3 or 4…

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both very tricky days in my world. While most people are celebrating or ignoring their mother or father I sit in the middle of this whirlwind of emotions.
Being raised and eventually adopted by my paternal grandparents I view them as my “parents” when I think of these holidays. They shaped and molded me into who I am and instilled in me the values that I have, but I cannot give them all the credit. Most of the credit sure. They stepped up to the plate and filled the role that it seems my parents either couldn’t or didn’t want to fill. Now I am not in any way bashing or blaming, just stating facts.
This is not the place to get in depth about my parents or my childhood so I am going to keep this short and simple. As far back as I can remember it has been my grandparents. I was with my mother till I was 9 and adopted at 10. My mother would have me for a while and then I would be at my grandparents for a while. So it was not a big change when they adopted me. My father had always lived out of town so I saw him only occasionally but he has always been a part of my life. My mother married when I was about 3 years old so I have always had a step dad also that helped raise me. It was a bit confusion and chaotic as a child. Having all these parent figures and being uncertain how to approach it all. I spent many a night in tears confused and hurt because of it.
When my grandparents adopted me it made that a lot easier because they then became the main parental focus. I felt guilty because I didn’t want to hurt my parents but that just became what it was.
This year searching for a proper card brought back so many memories for some reason. I can’t get the typical “your the most awesomest dad and you’ve always been there for me” card. I can’t get the sentimental ones that ooze all this praise though I would give anything to be able to do that. I sat in the drug store and stared at the cards and almost started crying thinking about that. Missing my granddad with every fantastic card I read. I also realized something else.
I might not have had the exemplary childhood when it comes to greeting cards, that is true. But I do know that I was loved, by quite a few folks. I see that as a blessing and something very special. I used to just be resentful and hurt because I wanted a special bond with my father. I used to long for that father daughter bond, and was bitter he wasn’t there the way I wanted him to be. I have come to grips with that, and I am glad. My father is one of my favorite people, and I feel special that I am his daughter. I cannot hold a grudge any longer, and I am glad that we are closer now and I can now have a relationship with him. Not everyone has that chance, and I am grateful I do.
Every time I hear Hurt by Christina Aguilera I cry. It reminds me of my father, and that just makes me think what if I held on to all that hurt till it was too late, and that is something I never wanted to happen.
Life is too precious to hold on to past hurt and anger. Move forward and forgive, it is the best thing, and you will feel so much better in the end. Even if it doesn’t involve a reconciliation or even a want to talk to someone, at least forgive, for yourself, it truly lightens the burden.

originally written on 6.17.12

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