It Doesn’t Have To Be Ok

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Over the course of my life I have found myself in some rather unique positions. My current predicament of being 25 years old, 36 weeks pregnant, with a dead father being one of the more unique. I’m fine with being 25. I’m semi prepared to have a baby in a couple or a few weeks depending upon how long I can keep him in there. Having a dead father is a weird proposition. I suppose that you would first have to understand my relationship with my father to understand why I am not wailing or gnashing my teeth. I recently realized that when I was a kid my dad never kept me by himself except for the occasional fishing trip on his boat. These fishing trips would consist of me fishing (cause I’ve loved it from a very early age) and him being any where from mildly to extremely hammered. By hammered I mean “three sheets to the wind, shouldn’t have drank the entire bottle of Crown and be in the boat cause how am I am going to get out” drunk. I still mostly enjoyed these excursions. Mostly I am sure because I was too young to realize what a scary proposition being in a two person barely motor propelled metal boat with a person possessing less that all their faculties was.

Other than that, and other than with me, my siblings and I were never with out father alone. I’m about to have a baby. I can’t imagine not leaving Carl alone with his dad. As much as I sometimes want to strangle Steven I would never worry that something might happen to Carl when they were together. Steven would never get drunk and supervise our kid. That’s just something I know, without a doubt, and would never worry about. They might drive a little too fast, or get extremely dirty playing in the mud or out on the river, and they might drag home yet another damn dog but Carl will always come back to me whole and healthy from his time spent with dad. My mother never had such a feeling of reassurance when dealing with my father. I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings about my dad. I’m also well aware that is not a popular thing to say. I didn’t love him in the traditional sense that one loves and respects a parent for raising and caring for us as children. I didn’t really love him in the sense that he was another adult human that played a large role in my life. I tolerated him. I talked to him occasionally. I let him live in his own world of semi delusion and rarely argued when he said something I knew to be patently untrue or just plain crazy. Over the course of my pregnancy my thoughts on him had changed a lot. I suppose new mommy hood will do that. I’m not sure how to describe our relationship, but it wasn’t traditional and it wasn’t based upon the sort of father child bond that normal people have.

Yesterday, less than twelve hours after finding out my dad had been murdered I was at working prepping for an Easter Egg hunt and fully intent to carry out my obligations that morning despite any turmoil or anxiety I might have been experiencing. I got to work. I got all the prep work taken care of, and then I went to tell my coworkers about the event and that I wouldn’t be coming in later that day and that I might be otherwise occupied this week. It was then I got a response I didn’t expect. While I am assuring everyone around me that everything is ok…cause that’s what I do when my friend and coworker looked at me, clearly upset, and told me that everything did not have to be ok. I’m tearing up just thinking about it because until that moment  I was sure everything did just have to be ok. I just knew I had to feel a certain way, act a certain way, and keep on going until everything was taken care of. That’s just what I do. I am not a passive person. I don’t just let things happen to me, but for as long as I can remember when something happens I’ve never just decided to feel however I feel and not do what I thought was expected regardless of how I might feel about it. Until now. Until this event in my life. My first concern has always been how to survive intact from a bad situation not how or what my own feelings about that situation may be.

I’m going into this new scenario in my life with a different attitude and it almost exclusively due to a few words spoken to me by someone who cared enough to point out a simple truth I had been ignoring for years. It doesn’t have to be ok. It doesn’t have to be what everyone else wants or expects. I’m going to handle this death my way.

Thank you my friend.

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