Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Q&A 1.3

A few weeks ago I wrote about seeing my father face to face for the first time in several years. I wasn't sure it was something I wanted to blog about, but in the end I did. While it is very personal, writing about it was very freeing in a way.

Jill over at From a Teenager to a Toddler asks:
hmmm, well, I guess since you wrote about it, I have to ask, anything that you did not like or felt like you were "missing" by not having your father around...

too personal, just say so - no problem....

here is a not to personal one: tell me the theme song of your life... or some songs that would be on your life soundtrack....

The first question isnt too personal but its kind of a tough one to tackle. I'll do my best though. My father was around for the first thirteen years of my life. Thirteen birthdays, thirteen Easters, twelve Christmases, twelve Thanksgivings, ten dance recitals, countless plays and other random childhood events. While I do have certain memories of some of those times, I have no recollection of him actually being there. When I pull out the old photo albums with their yellowed pages, there beneath the clear cellophane like cover show pictures that he was there, at least for a few of my fleeting childhood days. But when I try to go back into those memories, all I come up with is nothing, a blank canvas.

I think when something traumatic happens, its almost like your life stops and everything as you knew it comes to an end. Then somehow it starts again, while it may take some time to figure out, life goes on. The memories of that earlier life fade away, the pain dulls and eventually, it seems as if it happened to someone else, it becomes another lifetime ago. Thats how I feel about my first thirteen years. Like its an episode of a favorite tv show that you can vaguely remember seeing, but you can't really remember the details. I can hear the stories, look at the pictures and videos and know that that's me. But I can't remember it being me, if that makes any sense.

I am sure to some degree there were a lot of things I didn't like about no longer having a father, but I can't recall them. I can remember a few of the last fights between him and me, I can remember the first time my brother left for a weekend with him. But everything else is gone. Now at this point in my life looking back, I can honestly say no, I never felt like I was missing out on something. My mom is the one I remember being at my dance recitals, baking the cakes and planning my birthday parties, hauling the live Christmas tree from the trunk of the car or top of the van, teaching my little brother how to catch and hit a baseball. I know now, that my mom worked really hard to make sure we weren't missing anything. She knew how to fix the washer and dryer, use a cordless drill, and shoveled the driveway when it snowed. My mom became both our mother and father. My brother and I were lucky enough to have some very positive male influences in our lives. Our uncle at the time taught my brother the joys of fishing, boating, and being in the great outdoors. Our grandfather has always been the strong steady type. He has never failed to offer help when needed, advice when asked, and he came to my National Honor Society induction even though it meant my grandma made him wear a tie and suit coat in the middle of the week. Between my mom and other family members my brother and I had everything we needed and then some. I can honestly say that I had a great childhood, because thats all I can remember. Did that answer the question in a round about way?

As for the theme song of my life or songs that would be on the soundtrack, I've been thinking a lot about this one, going through my collection of cds, scrolling through my online library of songs. I think I am going to post the soundtrack to my life in a different post somewhere down the road and explain why I chose each song.

That said I think that the theme song of my life would have to be "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. According to my mother, from the time I was just a few months old to present day I have continually done things in my own time, in my own way. I try to live my life in a way so as to have few regrets, to laugh often, respecting others opinions but all the while staying true to myself and what I believe.

My Way, Frank Sinatra
And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, Ill say it clear,
Ill state my case, of which Im certain.

Ive lived a life thats full.
Ive traveled each and evry highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, Ive had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, Im sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

Ive loved, Ive laughed and cried.
Ive had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!


Unknown said...

What a wonderful post. You are such a wonderful person. Your Mom should be very proud of the job she did. Good song choice...they played that at the funeral for my favorite uncle...he was such a character. Its a great song!

Stacy said...

I heart the rat pack oldies! My favorite Sinatra song is Fly me to the Moon :)
Thanks for sharing!!!

Frank said...


all of a sudden I want to give my dad a hug...

LBluca77 said...

That was a great post. You are lucky that even though your dad was not there, you still had an amazing family to be there for you.

Love the Frank Sinatra song.

Andy said...

I'm with Frank. This kind of post make me cherish the fact my dad has been such an amazing parent, and that not everybody has the same chance.

Though, I have to admit, your mom did a wonderful job with you ;)

Lauren Elizabeth said...

Perfect song choice! And every time you talk about your family or growing up, you speak with such fondness. You didn't miss out on anything!

Jill said...

Your mom sounds like mine (I know that I have said that before) and deserved a husband like my mom has. It just isn't fair, huh? You are a wonderful woman, and I am sure that your mom just melts reading what you write. I only can HOPE to read something like this from MY daughter someday.

The song, favorite uncle's funeral, too, me bawling like an idiot.. I mean whailing and laughing at the same time.... it is the perfect song... gotta love me some Frank!

Thanks for always being so honest on your blog. I wish that I could be so honest on mine. You are a brave chicka.

Bayjb said...

Your mom did a great job raising you and I give you so much credit for being open and honest about your family life and growing up. Maybe it wasn't the "traditional" upbringing but you turned out great and that is all that matters.

Mandy said...

RebeccaC--Thank you! Its one of my favorite songs.

Stacy -- I heart the Rat Pack too.

Frank -- Do it!

LBluca77--I am very lucky. Now if I could just figure out how to deal with my gma.

Andy -- Again, do it!

Coconut -- Nope, not a thing.

Jill Marie -- Big T doesn't read this blog, so she doesnt see what I write about her. Trust me, she knows though. Also Big T is remarried and has that guy now.

Babyjb -- Thank you, no it wasn't traditional but it worked out. Is there such thing as a "traditional" upbringing any more?

Little Fish said...

It sounds like you have a truly great family. It also sounds as if your Dad is the one who missed out.

Auburn Kat said...

I agree with Little Fish.

Your mother did a wonderful job with you!!

As for the theme song of my life...gosh, I don't even think I could pick one! Maybe the static? HAHA

Andy said...

Oh, and I forgot... I agree that life should have a soundtrack... That's why my iPod is stuck to my ears most of the time.

Trina G. said...

Even though I don't have daily "real" contact with you, I feel I know you and think that MY WAY is perfect for you.

You're such a cool chick!

Mandy said...

Little Fish -- I do and he did.

Auburn Kat -- The Static? LOL.

Andy -- I agree.

Sissy -- Thanks, I thought it fit.