Monday, May 30, 2005

In Memoriam, In Nomine Domini

A lot of years have gone since the two of you left us. I've been remiss to visit you, although many miles separate us. As a matter of decorum, first on paper and lastly onto my website, I commit to words the feelings I have been harboring for over three decades.
~ Dad, it's been almost ten years and the passage of that time has brought me to terms with the rift that alienated us for so long. I never had the chance, no I never seized the moment, to talk face to face with you as a man. I left home as a boy, naive to the realities of the real world. The late 60's were a difficult time in a troubled country, in just a corner of a hostile world.
~ Only when you were asleep, did I confront the demons that I had buried deep within my subconscience. I was angry that you denied me that tete'-a-tete'. How dare you leave and not let me confront you! My brother had exorcised those demons long ago. He too never faced you, he felt he had no need. I, on the other hand, had suppressed them so deeply that only your death could release them. That release was an emotional cascade that left me weakened and ashamed.
~ I realize now that you raised us the best you could. Only then did I discover that you too had locked away your childhood memories of your father. That explains why you never spoke to Grand Pa. That's why you never allowed any of us to get close. You just drew upon the images of Fatherhood that you had witnessed, and in turn used it as the model that used to shape us. You never confronted your father either, did you?
~ Now that I too have exorcised those suppressed feelings, I am no longer in need of a confrontation. If only you had had the same fortune, perhaps there would have never been a rift between two fathers and two sons.
~ In any event, that is the past, but the son you raised is finally the father you wanted to be and wanted to have. That which I suppressed shall remain within me, free to be expressed. At long last, I can honor you In memoriam and In nomine Domini. (To the honor of and in the name of the Lord.)
Mom, it's only been four years and five months since your departure. For you there was no alienation. As the course of life, college, the military and a family of my own, have kept us apart, but only in the physical sense. I know that letters, cards and telephone calls are not a decent replacement for a hug or a kiss, but under the circumstances it was the best I could offer. It was you and my brother and sisters, who suffered through my absence. While I had no tangible reason I was aware of, I didn't want to come home. Strange, I didn't even know that I didn't want to come home.
~ I know now, that all that I had locked away somehow influenced me to the point that it prevented me from returning home. Somehow I had shielded myself, insulated myself so that I would never have to face him. Though I had no control, I am so sorry that you had to pay the consequences. You know that from our conversation after Dad's funeral.
~ When I flew home that August in 1995, you told my brother something he wouldn't tell me until your funeral. You said to him that you felt it was the last time you would ever see me. God, how could you have known? How could I have known? You were right, Mom. Less than five years later in November of 2000, you left us to lie beside your mother.
~ That cross I bear now. But there was contact, I made it a point to call at least once a month. There were plans in place, we were coming down to W.Va. the following summer of 2001. Everyone was excited down there, as were we up here in Boston. Alas it was not to be ... In memoriam, and In nomine Domini!
~ Yes, I faced myself and those demons. Although I learned a lot when my father died, I realized also that we are fragile beings trying to live a life that is often unfair. Displaying my soul and inner self for the world to chance upon, I place myself above myself. I cannot change what has passed, but I can take those events and shape what I am yet to become.

1 comment:

the many Bs said...

Memorial day is a perfect time to reflect on these things.