I am mad at my dad.
This is news because I haven't really been mad at my dad since he died. I was mad at him right about that time. It was all a part of that grieving process. Being mad at him for leaving before I had a chance to show him all the things that I would do and be when I grew up. He was around long enough to see me get married. And move to California. And start a new career.
That career was managing a book warehouse. I worked my way into management within a year of the date I started as an entry level box packer. A year after that I found my way onto the board of directors of this employee-owned company. My father's comment at that time was, "That says a lot about you, or it says a lot about the company." Which I chose to take as a compliment. And since he tended to support what I was doing with enthusiasm even when he didn't fully understand it, that was probably the case. So I wasn't mad.
When he died, I knew that there would be a lot of chapters in the book of my life that he would never read. My move to teaching. The birth of my son. The kid who ended up with his name. The house we bought with the down payment supplied by the insurance and inheritance that came in the aftermath of my father's untimely demise.
Which makes me wonder what a timely demise might be.
Today I am not mad about my father for dying. I am mad at him for leaving my mother. That made so many things in my life and those around me so much more difficult that I really wish he would have thought to check in with me before he did it. There was a lot of talk after the fact, mostly with me attempting to bridge the gap that he had created with our family and friends. There were plenty of awkward moments, like my college graduation party, and all the attendant gatherings brought on by getting married. And I know that there are plenty of families that suffer through divorce and contend with all the lack of comfort that comes with having that solid nucleus of mom and dad. But that wasn't supposed to be me. My mom and dad were the mom and dad that everyone else wished they had.
Until they weren't.
And today that bugs me.