Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today I'm in a tender way . . .

It happens to the best of us, I know.

I was going to defend myself against Swirl and Anjeny's account of our girlz day yesterday, but I can't seem to muster up any gumption so I'm going to put that off 'til tomorrow so I can wallow in my tender way today.

It's April 15th and we all know what that means. It's that other-dreaded-three-letter-word-that-ends-with-X-day.

It also means it's my nephew, Matthew's 10th birthday anniversary, which means his birthstone is dangling from my ears. He was born on this day, and then he slipped away 12 hours later.

Happy Birthday baby Matthew. Don't forget to send a hug from heaven to your mommy and daddy.

Ain't loss just the saddest word in the dictionary? If I ever write my own dictionary I promise to leave that word out.

(If anyone is grieving the loss of a child this site, Stepping Stones may bring you comfort.)

Today is also Jackie Robinson day and anyone who knows me knows my heart belongs to Jackie Robinson (and Jack Johnson and Jack Bauer and Jack Shepherd).

I'm vehklempt just thinking about the day I was overcoming a tired problem and I prayed to him and he took the time to answer me with a bottle of rubber cement. You have to read this post and then this post to fully understand.

For some reason Jackie Robinson day is making me think about my daughter's tennis match last week. While she was playing my husband kept sneaking out of work to watch her. He positioned himself outside the fence directly behind her where you couldn't see him well because of the wind screen. But you could hear him cheering her on and giving her advice:

Keep your eye on her racket . . . Watch your swing . . . That's it! . . . Beautiful topspin . . . Okay, now move your feet . . . You can take this girl . . . there you go, you've got her . . . NICE RALLY!

That's my girl!

My eyes got a little sweaty and my mind went back to the day I found out I was having a baby girl. My poor husband didn't know what to make of me when he found me crying on the couch in the middle of the night.

"What's wrong?" he said.

"I'm scared."

It took him a lot of coaxing to get me to blurt out that I was afeared of him being a good dad.

He didn't understand what it felt like to worry that I might be jealous of my own daughter because she would have a daddy who made her feel loved and adored.

Surprisingly I have never felt jealous when watching my husband shower my daughter with love and attention, just profound gratitude that I married a man who wasn't constantly battling his own demons.

The thing about people who battle their own demons all their life is they don't have any time and energy left to nurture the ones they love. And little girls need a lot of nurturing. They need water and sunshine so their hearts won't turn to stone.

Little girls need someone to stand behind the fence and say That's my girl!

Oh Fathers! Take heed to John Mayer and be good to your daughters!

My dad has been gone for 27 years. Maybe he stands behind the fence now and roots for me to move my feet. I don't know. Sometimes I try to imagine him sneaking out of work to be there. Sometimes I even try to feel him there. But when I turn around and search for him among the sea of souls from the universe that I know surround us and lift us and encourage us, I can't ever find him.

He's so NOT there.

Is that too much information for a dummy to share?

I know I'm not s'pose to leave you all here today without saying something hopeful like but I know he's there somewhere and I can't wait to see him again someday.

Or something compassionate like I understand he had his challenges which kept him absent yet absent.

Or something dismissive like but that's okay, that was then, this is now.

But what was then is always now. You get me?

FYI, FTR, BTW, I have forgiven him his weakensses, his trespasses and his neglect. My anger and disappointment is gone with the wind. But so is my shot at saying my heart belongs to daddy.

Now I just say my heart belongs to Jackie Robinson (and Jack Johnson and Jack Bauer and Jack Shepherd) and call it good.

(Thank goodness for all the great Jacks in the world who not only conquer their own demons, but also jump in and wrestle everyone else demon's too!)

P.S. My Crash Test Dummy tender moment theme song for the day is track 33 by Motion City Soundtrack.


Barbaloot said...

Crash-that was real sweet. I've always been blessed to have a great relationship with my daddy. In fact, when one of my sisters-in-law called him "daddy" I told her no way was she allowed to do that again.

I'm glad your daughter gets that, too. Nice work picking a good dad for her:)

val of the south said...

You have an amazing way of lacing even your sadness with just the right touch of humor.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I agree with Val. Thanks for sharing your tender heart with us today. Beautiful post. I laughed I cried, it moved me bob. I loved the word verclempt, did I spell it right? Makes me think of Mike Meyers. And evem though I have not lived in your shoes, I so get you. Thanks for the good example of how to go on living happily even life has treated you wrong.

SO said...

My eyes started to sweat at this post. And yes. Loss is the saddest word in the dictionary.

wesley's mom (sue) said...

Ick! My eyes are sweating too. Your daughter is very lucky

Sorry about....all the rest of it. Loss sucks.

The Wixom Zoo said...

I have to say, I wish my dad was more like the dad my husband is. It's hard to know what you've missed when you see what others have, right? *sniff* I guess I'm kind of in a tender way too. (Stupid sweaty eyeballs!)

Sandi said...

I am hoping they are having a sale on eyeball antiperspirant somewhere for all of us who's eyes are all sweaty. This was a great post- and a great reminder to BE the kind of parent that we are supposed to. So glad your kids have that blessing in their lives. I sincerely hope that one day you will get to have that feeling of KNOWING that your own dad is pulling for you somewhere, I am pretty sure he is!

Anonymous said...

Now that I am sitting in puddles of "sweat", I so grateful for your tenderness.

Stephen said...

The voice from the other side is saying that you are incredible, talented, beautiful, and that he is very proud of you and sorry he wasn't a better father.

Melanie J said...

What a strange and bittersweet day for you. I'm not at all surprised to see you land on the sweet in your own salty way (maybe in the form of eye sweat?). My dad's death and my second son's birth share the same anniversary. I think about the sad but I can only end up being happy anyway.

Monica said...

I am de-lurking to say thank you for writing this. I to had a dad who had more demons than one life time could hold. He past away 2 years ago today. I needed to read this today. I to am grateful for a hubby who's only demon is his passion for his work (this I can deal with). I to have forgiven, but the neglect never disappears.

We also had a dear sweet niece who lived 3 1/2 weeks before returning to her true home. She was an angel and had to go back and be with the other angels. It will be 4 years ago this May.

You really touched my heart. Thank you!

T said...

My sweaty eyes and the rest of me - all touched.

Amanda said...

I can so relate to the desire to be a daddy's girl but no such luck. I also found a great daddy for my girls...I do find myself envying my kids when I think about how great we are as parents. Hmmm, maybe that was just a dream because in reality I feel sorry for my kids and all they have to endure from me :P

Thanks for sharing your tender side again...I love a good eye sweat!

I am LoW said...

Awwwww...... Crash..... :(

April said...

Crash.....I'm giving you a hug right now! There is nothing that can change a child for good like the love of a parent.

Homer and Queen said...

Dang girl! When you said you were in a tender way I thought you were going to say you were preggos!!!

I was a daddy's girl, but he died 18 yrs ago, darn him! Still miss him!!!

Emily Anne Leyland ( Art-n-Sewl) said...

Oh Deb- my eyes are sweating now too ;) I remember the pictures of Matthew that Grandma had in her apartment in D.C. when we went out to see Mary get married. I felt so sad for Mel and I still don''t know how any parent goes through that. I'll say a little prayer for all of them.
And-boy oh boy do we have a complicated family. I don't know the pain you experienced with your Dad but I know something a little like it and it continues each day. I know nothing I say will make the pain go away, so I will give you a cyber hug and tell you what a great woman I think you are. One day we will understand all this junk that life throws at us eh.
Love you lady
Oh- and did you ever score a bombdigity of a hubby ;)

Sandi said...

bomdigity is a very cool word.

Anjeny said...

Crash, I admit I was sweating big time in my eyes earlier when I read this post, so much that I just couldn't seem to compose myself enough to respond earlier. Now that I'm a little composed I figured this is as good a time as any to comment.

This really is a lovely post. You did a great job finding that great dad for your daughter, because of your choice, your daughter will never go through what you went through. And I'm really sorry about your dad, that he couldn't be there for you.

I was thinking tho that you do have a FATHER who is always on the other side of the fence or on the sideline cheering you on. I'm pretty sure HE even reached down and wiped a tear or two from your eyes..I am talking about our Heavenly Father.

I can't express how closely related our stories are except even though my father left us, he is still alive and has kids from his second wife. He tried to rebuilt our relationship now that I'm an adult but I can't seem to help resenting him you know. I had to spent my childhood and teenage years wondering why he didn't love us enough to stick around and then when I'm around his new family, I feel a little resentment towards them, wondering what made them so special that my father is willing to stick with them. My step-dad tried to take his place but it's not the same, you know.

Anyways, this isn't about me, I just wanted you to know that I feel you. Your daughter is very fortunate to have you for a mom. Oh yeah, thank you for playing Jason Castro in Forever in Blue Jeans on playlist. I've grown really fond of Neil Diamond's music and then during last year's American Idol, I was rooting for Jason and then when he sang Neil's song, I about flip.

So thank you...I think it's amazing that even when you're feeling down you still think about us and manage to bring some smile to our faces.

Anjeny said... looks like I practically made a post on your comment box...real sorry about that. I'll try to use Kritta's technique from now on, ok?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh guys, you made me eyes sweat so many times to day with your comments and responses. Thank you sincerely. It feels good to be understood and virtual hugged.

Pat, I LOVE Mike Myers! Obviously I'm a big time SNL fan.

Sandi, you totally made me laugh and cry. Thanks. I know it's probably ME blocking HIM.

Stephen you made me cry too. That was such a sweet thing for a brother to say.

It's fun to see a few new people here sweating their eyes out in here like it's some kind of locker room. Welcome Jenny and Monica.

Monica I'm so sorry about your dad. Two years! Today! How strange and unusual. It's still so fresh. VIRTUAL HUG, girlfriend. I'm glad you de-lurked.

Amanda, ha ha. You made me giggle, cry. I totally hear you/feel you.

Awww LoW! Awww April. Awww Queenie. Group hug.

Awww Emily. You are so sweet. I feel for you too girl. All the time. And I'll say this to both Anjeny and you because it applies to both in differnt ways and to differnt parents, but I think it would be way harder to deal with the pain and frusteration when it's current and day to day.

And bomdigity IS a cool word. Where the helk did you come up with that?

LY Cousin Em.

And Anjeny you are so sweet. I am so sorry about your dad leaving the family. I know so many people are going through these same feelings. Thanks Anj. You da bomb.

And you're so right about our Heavenly Father. There's no reason to feel alone.

Aww shucks. There goes my eyes again.

I'm going to be happy tomorrow, guys.


Thanks for the hugs.

My verifier says shedd. I shedd some old feelings today and it feels good.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

ha ha Anjeny! Yes, use Kritta's technique so I look really pop-U-lar.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Hugs to you Crash. What a day huh? Loss is terrible and 'sad' will be banned from my dictionary alright?

You always share something so great with us, even when it's sad.

I love hearing about your husband cheering your daughter on, that's well, I refuse to say my eyes sweat (cause that doesn't sound right) but well, they were misty okay?

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I love me some AWESOME dads too Crash...Hey I'm anointing you with a SWEET award...just saying!

wendy said...

That was a great post. Daughters are awesome, I have one --and 4 sons . Love them all but it is nice having a daughter to share things with. I LOVE MY DAD and will miss him so much when he goes. He has always been my mr. everything. but his name is not Jack,

SWIRL said...

why is jamba so far away???- if I could I would bring you a jamba and we would drink our blues away with a tall pina colada jamba

Tiffany said...

Hey, I am sad and meloncholy today too. I my heart is not so much tender it is more broken.

Today my baby was taken away. Not because I am a bad mom but because his birth mother decided to pull it together for her third baby and is an "adequate mom" (thats what the Lawyers say)

So my baby left today and it feels like my world may fall apart. He will probably never have a daddy.

Wait that is not true, we will stay in his life and my hubby will always be his dad. Not as much as we would like, but hopefully enough so he wont feel like he grew up without a father.

Mariko said...

I think one of the things that makes us adults is when we reconcile our childhoods. Empathy becomes something very valuable to us.
I think your daughter's daddy does a good job (the b is a backwards d, ya know). It's just lovely to see those moments.

Mariko said...

I just got to the end of the comments and read yours, Tiffany.
SO SAD. Sweaty eye inducing, even. I'm a neurotic person who often imagines how awful and difficult it would be to lose a child and just pray pray pray that it never happens to me, since I'm kind of a weakling in the face of suffering. And because I know it would be worse than I could imagine.
I hope yours turns out to be a good ending all around.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh Tiffany I am sooooooooooooo sad for you. I'm so sorry! Everyone send a prayer to the universe for Tiffany! It's the worst day in the world for Tiffany.

And I used to babysit Tiffany so I'm extra sad!