If I had to guess, I’d say my father was probably fishing on Sunday. He once told me that was what he liked to do with his time. He also used to do projects around the house, like that year he spent digging out a basement underneath the cabin he lived in, but I’m not sure he’s in any shape to do that sort of thing anymore. He turned 65 last month. At that age, I guess anything is possible though. I really wouldn’t know.
While I did my best to keep the focus of Father’s Day on my husband, thoughts of my own father kept creeping into my mind. I pictured him sitting in his rowboat, that one he had shown me all those years ago when we went for a walk along the lake he lived on. I could see him sitting there, the oars perched off the sides in a way that I honestly don’t know is even possible as I know nothing about rowboats. Maybe it wasn’t a rowboat. I’m not sure now. But it was blue. Or white. I actually can’t remember too much about it.
In my mind he was smoking. I wondered if he would pitch the finished butts out into the lake and risk hurting the fish or if he’d stamp them out in an ashtray he’d brought along with him. I pictured the old lunch cooler he used to bring to work, the red one with the flip down white lid. I’ll bet this one didn’t have beer in it though. He’s been sober for over twenty years. Well, last time I talked to him he had been sober. He probably doesn’t have that cooler anymore, anyway.
I wondered if he would head home at a certain time to sit down to a meal with his second wife, the woman he married some time in the last 15 years or so. I’m not sure when that happened. They weren’t married when I met her and then the next time I talked to my father they were. My father’s remarriage was one of those big things that remains a mystery to me, mostly because I wasn’t included in it.
I wondered what he’d think about, sitting there in the boat. What would he talk about later with his wife? Surely he knew it was Father’s Day. Did he wonder where his children were and what they were doing?
And then I wondered what kind of father abandons his children, gives up without a fight, just walks away. Not just once, either, but multiple times, over and over. I want to think he had a good reason, but in all this time he’s never once shared that with me. I want to think that if I were in his position, if I had been given the second and third and fourth chances, I wouldn’t squander them.
But maybe I would. Maybe I couldn’t turn it around either.
Maybe some people aren’t worth fighting for.
Maybe he feels the same way about me.
Edited to add: This post took crowd favorite over at yeah write last week! Thanks to everyone who read, voted, and commented!
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