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True Innocents: Fathers and Sons

S3nd K3ys
On his blog, S3nd K3ys wrote:
If you've been here before you've likely figured out I'm a father. Such as it is, it's a good bet that I'm a son as well. Only my parents passed away over the last couple of years. They were seperated before I was concieved, so I never knew them as a 'couple'. Perhaps that will become increasingly important as this post develops. Perhaps not.

I was tossed back and forth between my mother and father every few years as I was growing up, and (as the youngest of 5) given to siblings from time to time for short stints when neither parent could handle me. Memories of my life with my father are extremely mixed emotionally. Mixed with anger, happiness, love, hate, sadness and lots and lots of confusion. The order of these feelings changes periodically. Today sadness and confusion are the prominant feelings.

Sadness because I didn't really get closure with my father before he died. Not because I didn't try. In fact, several years ago I flew from Ca. to see a brother in Pa. We then drove together to NY to see my Dad for Father's day. We planned on staying the night in a hotel, but when we arived, the first words from my Dad's mouth were pretty much the same old snide comments as the last time I saw him several years before, having to do with long hair, squatting to pee, and the likes.

I'm sure he meant it in a nice way, didnt' he? I mean, he kept telling me he loved me and missed me and that I was always in his thoughts. But he has always had this manner about him when I was growing up. (I've got the scars mentally and physically to prove it.) At any rate, we stayed and had lunch with him and my Aunt Marge. After being there for no more than four hours, my brother and I (along with our wives) decided we'd had enough and headed back to Pa. What a sad day it turned out to be and a long trip back to Pa.

Confusion is almost always there, and takes many shapes. We won't talk too much about that here, as I don't want to bore you. Suffice it to say that I know in my heart that my father loved me. He had to. How could a father not love his son? Besides, he's told me he loved me so many times. I think I may have even heard it in his voice one time when he was lying in his bed shortly before he died. All that and everything else aside, I do love my father. I'm not always sure why, but I do.

I never told him the one thing I should have told him, so I'll tell him now;

Dad... With tears in my eyes, and deepest love for you in my heart, I forgive you. You did the best you could with what you had. I know you loved me. I hope you know I love you too. Oddly enough, I really do miss you.

So it comes down to this. This is how I get closure with my father. For what it's worth, it's better than nothing.

My wife and I got married in 1994. We were best friends and did so many fun things together. We did everything from surf-trips to Mexico, road trips to Canada, scuba diving/snorkelling in the Carribian, to camping, shooting and riding motorcycles locally. She's strong, loving, beautiful and brutally honest. She's the perfect wife. The perfect friend. Any man would be proud and lucky to have her as either, but I have her as both.

We eventually tried to have a baby. We were unsuccessful over and over. Getting pregnant was not the problem, it was bringing the pregnancy to term that we couldn't do. We were crushed every time, and it got worse emotionally every time. It almost got to the point where we didn't want to go through it again.

Thank God we did. We were finally successful.

My life as I knew it was over. No more doing things at the drop of a hat. No more trips out of the country. Not much more motorcycle riding. Now it was all about dirty diapers and midnight feedings.

Then something happened. Cz got an attitude and he turned into this little person. A Truely Innocent little person that was completely dependant on his mother and me. As he started becoming aware of his surroundings, and realized there was more to life than eating and sleeping, I started to realize something spectacular had happened; something the likes of which I never would have imagined could happen had happened... I found something I loved more than my wife and even more than life itself. It was my son, and there was no turning back.

I grew so much after that, both spiritually and emotionally. I also felt pain that I had never felt before. The pain of love, which holds the good and the bad and everything in between.

Then somethign else happened: Marie was pregnant again. We were scared, and for good reason. We lost yet another pregnancy and it crushed us. This was more painful than the others because now I knew the joy that Cz had brought and couldn't help but wonder "what would have been" if this last pregnancy had gone to term and Cz had a sibling.

We somehow got painfully through that, and found ourselves pregnant yet again. Partly by design, mostly not. Something was right this time. Very right. His name is Aj.

Again my life has changed profoundly. I've found myself capable of feelings I never would have guessed I could have even once, let alone twice. But here they are. Aj has been an inspiration to me in numerous and often odd ways. I see a lot of my father in him. (Much of it might have to do with the way he staggers around.) I also see a lot of myself in him.

It's hard to imagine life without my children and my wife. I often wonder if my father had the same feelings about me that I'm having about my sons. It's so confusing some times.

Cz and Aj, each of you has given me something I didn't think was possible and something I couldn't bare to be without now. You've given me love, friendship, good times and even bad times. But most of all, you've given me hope. Hope that you will always know I love you more than anything and would do anything for you. Hope that I can be a father that you will remember with kindness and love. Hope that this world will be so much better with you in it. But mostly the hope that you never have to feel the pain I've felt.

I love you both.

Finally, I want to tell you both, from my own experience, that even though at times you will think you hate each other, there will never be anybody in your lives that will replace your brother and the support you'll get from him. Protect each other. Be good to each other. And always remember I love you both so much.
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