Made for t.v.?

I don’t want to see the made for t.v. version of your life.  I want to see into your heart. I don’t want to see the scrapbook of your day fixed with all the pretty accoutrements.  I want to see the flaws that made it real.  I want to see the eyeliner from your tears on your shirt sleeve.  I don’t want the sugarcoated version of your truth. I want the gut wrenching anguish and the exhilarating highs.  I want to feel your happiness and bear your smiles…

Which is all good.  Because that’s just what my dad left me. Pages and pages and my name left out.  We were left out of his life goals..his dreams …his hopes.  He was in touch with himself.  In touch with how many calories he needed to burn aerobically and how much debt he had.  And the hardest thing for me to deal with is the absence of me.  But when we are present it is in the most heart breaking way of a father searching for his children.

My dad wrote us letters that I have alluded to before.  He put all of his wishes for us on paper and maybe that’s why I email or text my closest friends whenever something happens to be in my heart.  I am used to reading it and not hearing it.

So tonight I took my dad’s journals out in an attempt to do some more writing as I know the book brewing in my heart “Born the Day the Dogwoods Bloom” has more to do with him than it does me.  The first five pages I grabbed out of the bin evaluated my dad’s life in 1987.  I am absent from the evaluation..Dave is absent. (My Dad literally titled each page Life Analysis) But I know that at this tiny snapshot on 12/29/87 we were absent but I have to believe we mattered in the bigger picture of my dad’s life.

Because then I read on 8/12/90, in a letter that my dad has written to me, that he has always loved me but for some strange reason he needs to prove it…and on 6/23/91 he says he is missing his own children and wanting to integrate us into his life.

So I know words on paper tell a story but I am learning that the words only tell a small portion of what was going on and I hope that my children will look at the whole picture just as I am trying to do……


2 comments on “Made for t.v.?

  1. Liz dorneman on said:

    Beautiful as usual, Julie. I have no relationship with my father, and your thoughts and emotions and actions are very insightful and great reflection for me as a daughter and a mother. Thanks for sharing.

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