The gift of Father’s Day


So now not only can I count the days, the weeks and even the months that my father has been sober, I can tick off a second Father’s Day!  Last year was the first Father’s Day in over 20 years that my dad was not drunk.  When I think back to last year, I couldn’t really wrap my head around that and I still didn’t trust his sobriety.  A couple of years ago my dad had a stroke and just like that (picture me snapping my fingers!) he stopped drinking and to this day hasn’t resumed.  The many Father’s Days during his years of drinking were synonymous with drama, fights, crying, disappointment, frustration, anger, etc.  He felt even more entitled on “his” day to act like a crazy lunatic.  Even though he isn’t a perfect dad, there is definitely some real normalcy in my life when it comes to my family.  So tomorrow, my boyfriend and I are going to visit my parents and I’m not consumed with worry or fear…my sister and her boyfriend are even bringing his parents there to meet mine for the first time.

On a separate/related/miraculous note: I wrote a blog once before about my father returning every gift my sister and I have gotten him.  This sadly is not an exaggeration.  It got to the point where the only thing we would even bother buying him for his birthday or Christmas was an gift card.  For years it was a source of hurt and disappointment, but then became an inside joke.  Those of you with alcoholic or dysfunctional families know that sometimes you just have to laugh about the ludicrous things that you experience.  But this year, the planets aligned and a curse was lifted and my dad is sober and he LIKED WHAT WE GOT HIM!  He thanked us several times and literally used those words…”I like it”.  My sister and I were together at my house and were on speakerphone with him and just sat in stunned silence, looking at each other in disbelief.  Once we hung up with him, my sister yelled out “hell yeah!!!!” and we high-fived 🙂

“Happy!?” Father’s Day


I just looked back and reflected on the post that I wrote last year at this time and it is crazy how things have actually changed. For the past 20 years, I have “joked” that Father’s Day was my 2nd least favorite holiday, only after my dad’s birthday. Historically, he felt entitled to act even more atrocious on those two occasions. Last year was no exception. My sister and I tried to have a nice day with my dad, except he preferred to get drunk and be nasty to us. That’s kind of our family’s tradition on most holidays.

But…this year MIGHT be different. My dad is still sober and considerably nicer to be around and communicate with. I am almost looking forward to Father’s Day this year (it is pretty hard to completely trust that his sobriety, so I am still hesitant and cautious). I guess only time will tell, but I am optimistically hopeful that my family will have a nice day this weekend…stay tuned lol!

Well, THAT lasted long…

I went home to my parent’s house for the first time in six months for Father’s Day yesterday. As I have mentioned before, this is one of my least favorite days of the year, so naturally I had some trepidation about the visit. I see my mom all the time because she comes down to where my sister and I live (about an hour away from my hometown), but I have not seen my dad since Christmas Day.

I am happy to report that everything went fine. My friend asked me today how things were and I told her there were no issues and so she said, “oh so he didn’t drink?” Nooooo…my father ALWAYS drinks, it is just a matter of how much and how early he starts. On the rare occasions that he does not drink at all, he literally stays in bed all day. But, it was a nice day. We had lunch, my sister helped my dad with some computer stuff, I helped my mom set up her patio furniture. My dad watched golf while we all just caught up. It was laid back and there was no drama. My dad even seemed grateful for the gift we got him (now we just get him Amazon gift cards- can’t go wrong with that!) I left feeling content and made a mental note to perhaps visit more often.

Until today. My father called my cell phone while I was at work and left me a nasty voicemail. It was about three minutes long and he just rambled on and on about nonsense, but at the end he started screaming into the phone. He ended his message by sarcastically saying, “oh happy Father’s Day…what a JOKE!”

So, I erased my mental note about visiting more. Unfortunately, his behavior on Father’s Day is the exception and the voicemail is the norm. It is like a roller coaster ride and reminded me how negatively I have always been affected by his unpredictable behavior and moods. I finally think I have the guy figured out and he throws me for a loop. I should have known better and I should not be surprised or disappointed. But I am.