Cozy Cottage Farm

Cards


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On the night of the super full moon, sometime over a month ago, my iPhone splashed into the toilet. With each passing day, I miss my iFriend more. I wanted to take a picture of a funny Father’s Day card to share and write about today…no iPhone. So I will have to do what writers have always done and rely on words.

Maybe when we were kids, my siblings and I made homemade Father’s Day cards. I can’t remember.

But, I was thinking today, about how when I was a teenager Father’s Day was the one holiday I didn’t have to worry about. No present to buy. And I could just walk by the card aisle in the pharmacy or grocery store and not have to pick out the perfect card for my father. I hadn’t seen or heard from him in years. There were no cards that said, “Happy Father’s Day and by the way Car 54 where are you?” – or some such sentiment…or worse. Besides, I didn’t have an address.

In June of 1978, I had to start thinking about Father’s Day cards. My son, Robin, was not yet two months old, so I picked out a Father’s Day card from him to his father, Ray. It was an interesting experience to be standing in front of those cards with other daughters and sons looking for the perfect card. Then I had a daughter, Katharine, and as the children got old enough, I would bring them to the Hallmark Store to pick out the very best cards for their father.

When my children were a little older, things got stickier for me at the card counter. I had finally heard from my father, through the efforts of my youngest sister. Wanting my children to meet their only living Grandfather, and being somewhat curious myself, we scheduled a reunion in Wisconsin, my father’s birthplace and apparent hideout! The visit went well. Forgiveness is good for the soul!

But when the next Father’s Day, after that 28 year hiatus, rolled around…what a sticky wicket that was! Standing in front of the card counter in early June: Thanks for always being there for me Dad.
Nope. Can’t send that one. I’ll always remember your words of Wisdom. Not quite. Ah, finally, the perfect card – praying hands: May God Bless You on Father’s Day. That’s the one I could send.

But I couldn’t send that same card every Father’s Day. There were actually only about 10 more Father’s Days left in his life that I would stand at the card counter and read through all those cards that some lucky kids could really pick for their fathers before I’d find one that would be O.K. for me to send to mine. And yet, on this day, I am grateful to have had those years to get to know my father through my own adult eyes and not be stuck with a child’s sad abandonement.

So to my father, who I hope art in heaven, thanks for being there whenever you could, for however long, and in whatever capacity… all things considered. Mary Rita, the little blonde one.

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This entry was published on June 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Cards

  1. Jan pogue on said:

    Some of us had fathers who were there, and did receive cards, but who did more damage than good. Maybe you were luckier than you think.J

    • There was enough damage done by the fighting giants, my parents, before he ran away that fateful day when I was 12. So I do know what you mean. Maybe, if he had stayed, he would not have lived for too many more father’s days. In Wisconsin, when I was 40, he told me by way of explanation for his swift departure that he decided to leave the family home when he woke up one night to find my mother standing over him with a kitchen knife! Is this a true story or was my father just another apocryphiar*? By the time I was 40, I was just seeking peace. “A Separate Peace” between my father and me. My mother chose not to sign the treaty. MRS
      *footenote: word coined by Martha Gellhorn especially for Ernest Hemingway!

  2. This is a wonderful post! Substantively, you leave me wanting to know more. Stylistically, it’s the perfect blend of casual fun and profound. So glad you’re doing this!

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