Tuesday, December 07, 2021

dad's birthday

today would have been dad's 88th birthday. in this picture, he looks remarkably like jonathan franzen. i wonder if that's why i've always liked jonathan franzen. i look at this picture and i find myself wondering who he was then? it must be from the late 70s, as i know it's from our house in town. i was probably 10, which would have made him 44. who was he at 44? he was in the state legislature. he owned and operated a weekly newspaper. he golfed with his buddies on wednesdays. he was a husband and a dad of two daughters. but who WAS he really? can we ever really KNOW our parents? we see them so differently from our child's perspective. can we ever access who they were? 

it's a weird thing to ponder, because at the same time as we have no idea, who we are is so utterly formed by them. what do i remember of those days? i remember that making him laugh was the goal. that was always the goal. i definitely still do that today, sometimes to my detriment, as always going for the laugh isn't always appropriate. but i still have a deep need to do so. 

i find it hard to go back to the child me, to remember what i thought and how i saw my dad. 

but today, on his birthday, i miss him. i think i write this every year, but i would so much love to talk to him about the state of the world - about trumpty dumpty and climate change and roe v. wade and the rest of it. i don't think he was one to make it all ok for me, but his perspective would always make me think about it in a different way and well, despair less. i miss him. a little bit every day, but especially on his birthday.

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