I still haven't figured out how to link to the blog jumpstart, but I can take the prompt and run with it.
If I could have anyone living or dead over to dinner, who would I invite? There are so many good answers, holy answers. But, I have to go with the longing in my heart.
If I could invite anyone to dinner, I would have my dad who has been gone these 35 years over to dinner. If dad were still alive he would be 98 years old. I would love to hear his laugh, just one more time. I would love to tell him about my son and daughter in law and the baby they are expecting. And I am already bawling as I type this.
I lost my dad too soon. He was only 62, younger than I am now. I was not yet 30 when he died. My son was not yet 2. He has no memory of his grandpa who loved him so much. I had only just started to get to know my dad as an adult person when he died. There were so many things we hadn't talked about, that I want to know.
Life is complicated. I have become my mother's caretaker and confidante. I handle her finances and her needs and listen to her. But, it is complex. My mom and I did not get along well as I was growing up. I didn't feel that I got all of those dear things you want from a parent, from a mother from her. She called me names, humiliated me, shamed me, and attacked me. Not constantly, but often enough that I grew up with very low self esteem and fear of making anyone mad. Her parenting is one aspect of my poor choice in marriage. Dad tried to protect me from her. I was aware of that and I often avoided her and went with him as much as I possibly could. I was the cause of many of their fights and friction. Mom has admitted that she was jealous of me and my relationship with my dad.
But after dad died, I decided that honoring his wife, my mother, was all I had left to do for him. I honored my father by building a relationship with my mother. We have gotten on better through the years. We became friends after a fashion, although I still, through all of those years, feared when she got upset, because she often took it out on me. I am finally learning to set boundaries with her, which is a little bit too little too late, but better late than never. I would love to have an honest discussion with my dad about my relationship with my mom. And maybe that wouldn't serve any purpose, but I have so many questions about things that happened and why they happened and what Dad knew.
I have carried Dad with me through the years. In my marriage I can remember many occasions when I was being berated or accused and I thought, if my dad were alive and I told him this, he would insist that I move home. I know that one way I am assured in God's love is the memory of my father's love for me. Dad was pretty easygoing. Unless I served him hot dogs, he would eat anything I served. Dad loved to eat and talk and laugh. And I would love to hear his laugh just one more time.