PMSthe women in my family of origin were known for having raging mean cases of premenstrual syndrome. but the term "PMS" meant something altogether else. it is the monogram of the man in our lives, my stepdad, michael.
when he and my mom re-met, in line at the grocery store, after decades of not knowing each other, he became the first producing artist i had ever met, the first texas trivia buff i had ever met, the first hot-pepper-eating-pearl-beer-drinking-kierkegaard-spewing-scirocco-driving-
gallery-running ticklemonster i had ever met. and he became the first example of what a good man should look like. i. had. ever. met.
he took abuse, more and more it seems throughout the years. my sister cried through their entire wedding. while he was recovering from a major surgery on his abdomen in which cancerous tissue was excised, he discovered i had pilfered $600 bucks from his checking account with his ATM card. one evening, when my mom was out of town, i came home after 12 hours of LSD and broke down and he just talked to me. he picked me up from ballet. he picked me up from drama rehearsal. he picked me up at the municipal court at midnight while i was there protesting a friend's arrest. he picked me up from jail. twice.
he used to make our lunches for school and everyday he would draw a cartoon and a joke, or an endearment. and he was talented at it!
last year, when i was sitting with my family at dinner on a return visit, i expressed to them how sorry i was that i had hurt them, that i had messed up so badly when i lived in their house. and mess up badly i did. very very badly. he looked at me and said, "that wasn't you." plain and simple. it wasn't me. he has loved me so much for so many years that the part of me that sins he can't even recognize. he reflects jesus to me. and he shows me what a daddy is supposed to look like. as a result, i was able to choose a husband, and eventual dad for my own child, who is good and kind and forgiving and selfless.
PMS is now "pop." my son is obsessed with "pop's hat." and they are great friends, becoming greater. pop and i have a connection; he is one of the most tangible pieces of evidence that god exists for me, because i can't imagine another dad coming along that was more suited to my weirdness, or another daughter coming along more suited to his. this father's day is for him. happy father's day, dad!
posted by hobbledog @ 5:16 PM