I had no idea that trying to write something for Father’s Day would open the proverbial flood gates. But open them it has. And not just about Jim, but about home and the South and small town living and who I really am and who I want to be and… Are y’all ready for this? Because I’m not sure I am! Seriously. I’ve been writing. Some here… Some in a journal at home. I’m not sure yet which things I’ll post and which I’ll just save for me because it turns out I’m not as brave as I thought I was. I truly admire the writers out there (Laurie, Purl, Kristi – I’m looking at you – there are others) who put themselves, their whole selves, into their writing. It feels honest. I wish I had that! But sometimes I sit down and I write and pour out my thoughts and then I go back and read it and think… Crap! Am I THAT angry? Or… Maybe it just comes out a little more vulnerable than I’d like?
Last night I had TheBoy pull down my storage boxes from the garage in hopes that some of my old photo albums would be in there. I had a mind to scan and post my “Mary Lou” photo from yesterdays post. And also, I can’t bring to mind the exact details of my father’s face. I just have a fuzzy image of reddish hair, ruddy cheeks – looks not unlike my own. Growing up everyone would say to my mom, “she looks just like you!” She would always respond, “no – you should see her father.” As I get older I see more and more the similarities in my mother’s face and mine but I know I look a lot like Jim. Last night, for whatever reason, I just could not go on without seeing his face. Unfortunately, the boxes did not contain the albums I was hoping for. I’m wondering if my mother has them or if I really did throw all those photos out in a fit of anger several years ago.
But I did find a few photos. I thought I’d save them to post when I got to writing stories that fit the time frame but I keep finding myself looking at them. These were taken the weekend I graduated high school. The man in these photos is a stranger. His face is not the one I went searching for last night. By the time these pictures were taken I had not seen him in over 6 years. I have not seen him since, 9 years this month. I suppose if I squint I can see the man I called “Daddy” in these photos… His hair was redder, his face thinner, the glasses were similar, he almost always had a mustache, I don’t recall the beard. The picture at dinner is more familiar (he's the one on my left - the couple on my right in my mom and Al). You can see the emotional distance between us in the picture at Pier 39.
And just for fun… Here’s a picture of me and Al, my step-dad, from the same weekend. He’s awesome.