From our blog on this date last year:
When I was a little girl, I'd dream of this day the way most kids would dream of a trip to Disneyland. I imagined the four of us all there, in a line, waiting to say good riddance. Lee would be holding a TV Guide, Karen a pocket sized copy of The Constitution, Tod with his jar of peanut butter and me
with my colored pens and my bad mood. Oh, and Sam the dog would be there, too, with her jingly collar. As they'd lower him into the ground, we'd be thanking him for all the wonderful things he'd given us:
Thanks for that fear of abandonment!
Thanks for letting us know what it feels like to be totally ignored!
Thanks for teaching us the art of waiting!
Thanks for letting us be hungry, cold and in the dark!
After the due thanks, we'd all go to Farrell's and order that huge banana split and celebrate.....then, I'd hear mom's voice telling me to pick up my socks and the dream would end.
It's been a year now and we're happy to report that dad is still dead. What a great year it has been! We wrote a book. We traveled. We took our heart health seriously. We answered our phones and gave people our real addresses. We didn't have to stop whispering when mom walked in the room. We didn't have to ponder our answers when people asked if we'd heard from him. We did all these things without the fear and hesitation we felt for so long. We never had to ask what if dad shows up?
I do keep thinking about things people would say (while not actually, you know, doing anything to protect the lives of 4 children, but, whatever) to comfort us when we were younger. One day he'll get what he deserves- he'll burn in hell! Just wait! Why is it always about what the abuser deserves? Why isn't it about what the victims deserve? Or, when you're all grown up he'll come back into your lives and you can work things out! Is that what we should be teaching young girls? It's ok if your father treats you like shit right now because when you're all grown up you can just welcome him back to your life with open arms. Is that really what we should teach young girls about MEN? Let them abuse you right now and years later they'll say sorry. No. No. No. Perhaps this would be a good time to start playing that Rick Springfield song about his dead dad.
How far does the spirit travel on the journey
You must surely be near heaven
And it thrills me to the bone
To know Daddy knows the great unknown
There's a Rick Springfield song fitting for any occasion! We waited. He died. And, I really, really don't think he is on any journey in burning hell. I think he's just dead. We don't feel redeemed. We feel free. We are free. We got what we deserve.