Yesterday, I posted the above picture on facebook. A friend of mine posted the following comment:
You look like sunshine incarnate.
That reminded me of something my father used to say all the time:
You always bring the sunshine with you wherever go
And that, friends, is a memory that -as the proverbial pill, is very hard to swallow.
Till the day I die, I will be haunted by two things:
- Not being able to save my mother
- Not being able to love my father
Let’s not talk about the former for now. Some other time. Maybe.
But about the latter…
It took me a few years but I eventually started talking to my father again. I was pretty obvious to me he felt awful and wanted to make amends.
The funny thing is that we never “talked”. I mean, about it. Ever. I don’t know if he needed to talk. Probably he did. But he never said anything and I was happy that way. I knew he was sorry and that was enough for me.
In retrospect, it might’ve not been enough for him. He might’ve had to say it out loud, for his own sake. For closure. I know that most of the time, it is immensely more difficult to forgive ourselves than to forgive others so maybe hearing me say “I forgive you” might’ve helped him. I’ll never know.
The good thing is that the love he never got from me, he got from my kids. He adored them and they adored him. He lived for them and my sister.
All things considered, the last years of his life were not too bad. I saw him smile quite a lot when he was hanging out with my kids. He loved to have them over and watch them play.
But then there were those other times when I could see the pain on his face. He was a tortured man. And dealing with my sister’s depression and repeated suicide attempts didn’t make it any easier. I am sure he blamed himself for that. But of course, we never talked about that either
I never knew if he was aware of my own depression issues. I sure never mentioned it to him. But I don’t know if my husband said anything to my father. But it is probable that if he knew, he would’ve blamed himself for that too.
Mental Illness is a cruel illness. The cruellest of all, if you ask me.
This is a topic I have discussed many times before.
As Dr Cooper would say:
Ah Mental Illness, thou art a heartless bitch
- “Long Courageous Battle” Fought With Cancer, Heart Disease, Etc.–But Mental Illness? (summersolsticemusings.wordpress.com)
- I wish I had cancer (summersolsticemusings.wordpress.com)