Father’s Day can be one of those bittersweet holidays. I’ll start with my sweet, this guy…
He’s been carrying those two since they were born. He always shows up, constantly sacrifices for their behalf, is spontaneous and fun, and is such a great model of hard work and ingenuity. I am daily grateful for the father my daughters get to have – and can’t wait for them to realize it themselves.
But Father’s Day can be tough for many. Awesome fathers who have passed away, fathers who are estranged from their kids, mothers whose hearts have been broken by their kids fathers, and on and on. I always struggled with buying my dad a father’s day card. He was distant in many ways and unconventional. He died from AIDS complications in 1996, and maybe because I have been writing about him lately, I’ve thought about him more recently than ever.
Only as adult have I been able to appreciate how difficult it must have been for him to come out as a gay man in the early 1970s. He wasn’t a perfect dad – or maybe even a good one – but he was mine. He had a witty sense of humor, an extensive vocabulary that he put to good use, a love of full fat dairy products and a Vantage cigarette almost always dangling from his hand. He was ill for a very long time and his death did not come quickly.
A few years ago there was a woman from Africa at my church speaking. It was the only time I met someone else besides my sisters who lost a parent to AIDS. Until recently, that is. I’ve gotten connected with a group called The Recollectors – Remembering Parents Lost to AIDS. Do yourself a favor and read some of the accounts there, or one I wrote about my parents, to catch a glimpse of some non-traditional love stories.
Which brings me to the subject of marriage equality. I was recently asked to record a short video to be included in a campaign to send to the Supreme Court called ‘Defend Love For All’ – which I did, and you can too! But maybe you don’t know anyone that is gay or know why you should care about this? That’s why I wanted to share my story with you. Because now you know me.
Happy Father’s Day 🙂
4 Comments Add yours
So sweet, Molls. I too recorded a video for Defend Love for All. John told me not to be serious, so I wasn’t. Now I sort of regret it. The message was still clear, and truthful, but these days I just don’t feel funny. The daily awfulness of living in Kansas right now, with its war on poor people, gay people, and immigrants is seriously depressing to me. I like this blog because this is how we change things–by making people realize how real and how close these human problems are. A friend wrote and reminded me that, a few years ago, we heard Rev. Clementa Pinkney speak at a conference we attended. He was murdered in Charleston this week. Again, that was a moment of realization. Blah, blah, blah. All I am saying is, keep on writing! Put your truth out into the world.
Thank you Alice, I appreciate you taking the time to share this. And congratulations for your Best University Teacher award! I can speak from experience what an awesome, inspiring teacher you are!
Molly, your piece in the Recollectors was touching, sad, yet warming to the heart and so beautifully expressed. Thank you for sharing this Father’s Day story. It really moved me.
Thanks, Molly, for your Father’s Day story.