comparison is the enemy of happiness

warning: not very much “bisexual” content ahead. Well it is technically because I wrote it—and I am—but it
really isn’t mentioned here. 

father and daughter-in-lawLaying in bed this morning I was reminded that it is father’s day. Mine, like many others, is dead, gone almost 4 years now. Phil was an amazing man: a husband, artist and hippy. He died suddenly, unexpectedly, just as I felt like our relationship was coming into what I had hoped for all my life.

My father left us too DAMN soon. He was only a few years into his 10 year art retrospective. He was just getting involved in medical marijuana passing in Minnesota – what could have been an amazing new adventure pulling together all the best of what he was about: people, health, joy and laughter with a side-car of crazy adventure. He adored his wife, his kitty children Liberty and Justice Furall, and always kept an open ear and heart to his human ones. He was very much alive when I met Karen—my beloved—and somehow he knew with her I would be ok. He adored her.

As he got older, things changed in our relationship. It felt like I was less and less his kid, but more and more like family. He was a man who had a huge family. Chosen family, none by blood, all by chance, each person collected in strange and wonderful ways. Bit by bit loved me like a friend, instead of his pain in the ass needy daughter. No, I didn’t love being his daughter, because frankly, I cramped his style. He never understood me, even as I tried to explain myself along the way. Yes, I changed my mind—often like underpants—and it frustrated the hell out of him. I was a kid, his kid. I am quite sure he loved me, but am not convinced that he ever fully understood the role of parent in the traditional, unconditional sense. His love and acceptance often felt very tied up with strings and conditions.

This morning as you’ve posted pictures of your dads, proud, smiling, arms draped or even near, I went searching through my pictures to see if I had one. Of just the two of us. Him, with his first born daughter, or even with both of his daughters, wrapped up, smiling. Perhaps I need to look in photo albums that don’t yet belong to me. But in the photos I have, there are none.

Ours was a different sort of love. My family albums don’t look like yours. My memories don’t feel like yours. They feel like mine. And mine are pretty good, all things considered. I wish I had a photo that looked like yours, from my wedding or a party or something, but I don’t. But I am happy you have yours. I am.

Comparison is the enemy of happiness. Today I will be grateful, even happy, for what I have and had. Happy, yes, happy Father’s Day.


3 thoughts on “comparison is the enemy of happiness

  1. My dad was good to me, but not so much to all of his kids. I am painfully working though that as I bear witness to a sibling’s process in finally dealing with her pain. I hear you about the pictures being wonderful but maybe not where you are. Thanks for saying your truth, and for letting me tell you mine.

  2. It is never easy to look head on at life…it is messy at best! You have the best way of articulating your experiences that gives importance to the struggling to be a “good” daughter and connect to one’s Father……. Thank you for putting it out there….it is healing to read another’s stories of triumph and survival! Namaste, you are a blessing.

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