Tuesday, 11 June 2013

I Miss My Dad; I Call My Mom Every Day

I miss my Dad. He died in September 2010, a few weeks before his 80 birthday.

I call my Mom every day, or as close to that as possible. When I am in a place I can't call, I email or use Facebook. And when I am in a place with none of these tools, neither telephone nor Internet, I know she knows I wish I could call.

The reason I call my Mom every day is because I know what it will be like for her when I die. It is unnatural and unfair for a parent to outlive a child. It is wrong, against the natural order of things. I may miss my Dad, but at least he left his life knowing that all of his children survived him. I am not sure my Mom will get that comfort, seeing a life fulfilled and a family complete.

One of my children chastised me recently, saying "How come you call your Mom every day, but not your children?" It's a fair question although a hard one to answer. There are so many complex reasons for the flow of this communication, reasons of responsibility and trust, reasons related to my divorce and the current battle between their Mother and I. As my brother Peter is wont to say, "The phone rings both ways."

Add all of this up, all this emotional stuff, and you get a complicated situation that seems unbreakable. Throughout my life I have worked hard at breaking through these complicated situations, being the one who reached past the barrier, being the one who gave up pride for family and responsibility, placing the needs of my family before my own needs. I have tried hard to "be the better person", given up so much in order to keep the bridges built and the doors open.

These days I am running out of emotional steam. I am no longer strong enough and, quite frankly, I am tired of having to do the reaching out. I am tired of having to do all the work. I know that it may seem selfish, yet here I am.

When I think of my Dad, I don't think of what I might have said. There are no things I wish I had asked him, no acts for which I had not forgiven him, no stories that I wanted to hear again. Before my Dad died, I had made my peace with him and come to see him simply as he was, the imperfect and perfect, the flawed and fascinating. Now, when I miss him, it is just him that I miss. It is not a sad, aching miss, but the kind of calm feeling that rests lightly. There is no pain in missing him, just a tinge of sadness that he is not here.

That is why I call my Mom. She has see me through my life and will most likely see me at the end of it. She deserves to feel that kind of missing, the one where there is no pain, just a tinge of sadness.


  1. I miss my Moms but i do call Dad most days. My real mom died when I was 12 . And my step mom died when I was 40 .

  2. My dearest one, I will miss you so much if the Lord decides to allow me to survive you. It will be the most painful thing in my life. I guess I should count my blessings to have lived so long and not lost any of my children so far. Who knows how this one will turn out. You may be assured that I will miss you so much!
    Much love and even more love.
    I love my other sons so much too and thank the Lord they are all well tonight.

  3. Rick, your penultimate paragraph concerning your views on missing Dad happens to catch my feelings precisely. You said it well. Thanks.