Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Andy's girl

I know this will come as a huge surprise to those who have been reading the drivel I post for the past few years, but I've been really struggling to find my place in the world for several years. Shocking, right?

I'm doing better lately, I think. For the last few years I've come to accept many things that I will never understand. Like how I can love someone more than life itself and also want to stab them in the neck from time to time. That no matter how much of your heart and soul you put into writing something, someone is absolutely going to hate it. That you can follow Weight Watchers to the letter and the bastard scale sometimes just won't budge. That my dog, for God knows what reason, thinks her tail is a tasty, tasty snack. I don't get these things. I don't even want to understand some of them. But I accept them as part of life. They just are.

But other things still give me grief. Still make me struggle.

Family is an odd thing for me. It's no secret that one of my dreams in life was to have this big community of people all around me. People who know all about me and still like me (harder than it sounds). I want to know what brought me to this place. I seek understanding in everything and everyone I meet.

But there are so many things I don't know. That I'll never know.

My husband, for example, was apparently dropped from the sky a few days before I met him. He has no beginning. I don't know what he was like as a child and I've never been where he came from. Even after ten and a half years, he has uncles I've never met. People that, maybe, could provide a little glimpse into who this person is. Who remember him before the accident that obliterated his memory.

Sometimes I think he just wants to forget. And that's okay too. It just doesn't give me much to go on.

My dad has always been another mystery in my life. He was always there when I was a kid and he was always, always the most steady, consistent thing in my life. If there was a problem, I could trust my dad. I still feel that way about him. He's the quiet calm in the storm. But I still feel like I want to know more about him.

I've always thought it probably wasn't easy for my dad. He had three daughters. Three loud, dramatic daughters. He's often, even now, bewildered by us. I get that.

I also get that events in his past, namely a horrible, dreadful, terrible war, make it really difficult for him to open up. As an almost thirty-five year old woman I get that. Not so much as a kid.

We used to go to family reunions when I was a girl. I'd see the same people every year...struggle to remember most of their names. (I'm not good with names. Not even a little bit) People would see me and say, "She's Andy's girl". I don't look much like him, except for the green eyes I have and he used to have (his randomly changed to brown a few years ago). I'm tall like him. Not very quiet like him and to be honest I have considerably more hair.

But I'm his girl.

This weekend I had a chance to talk to people who knew my dad before I was even alive. My dad's cousin, who looks so much like my own grandpa that I had to blink back tears a few times, told me things about my dad I didn't know. Nothing sinister or crazy, mind you. Just every day things that make up who is he now. Simple things like how when he came home from Vietnam he couldn't get warm in the Michigan weather. Things that give me a little glimpse of my dad as a person. Not just a dad.

I want to know things I'm probably never supposed to know. I'm not dissatisfied with the family I'm creating around me and all the people in my tribe. I know that there are a lot of people who love me and a lot of people I love. I get all this.

But still I wonder. I wonder about these parts of me I don't understand. I wonder where I get my sense of humor. I wonder where I get my compassion for people who don't deserve it. I wonder, most of all, where I get this huge and almost painful desire to know and understand where people come from, so I can know and understand where I'm going.

I'm my dad's girl. That makes me so proud I almost can't stand it. I just want to know more of exactly why.


Marissa said...

I'm a cross between my father's daugther, and my step-dad's daugther.

I came out loud, opinionated, dominant, and tenderhearted.

Madame Queen said...

Do you what to know where *I* think you get your love and compassion? God. I believe that, at heart, you are a spiritual person and it is the spiritual side of you that wants to come out. I'm just about to begin my training as a Stephen Minister and we're reading a book called "Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life" and it talks about people's need to understand the spiritual. You should read it.

Now as for your sense of humor, I have no idea! :)

BarbJ said...

My Maternal Grandfather died when I was 2. I can't remember him, but apparently we were very close. I'm now 36 and when I go to a family gathering the older relatives will stop, stare, and say "Oh, you must be Dee's grandbaby!" So I get the concept of being "Andy's girl" lol!

Kristy said...

I'm super close with my mom. But I realized I don't know much about her childhood, at least I don't know much about her father, my grandfather, who passed away when my mom was in her early 20's. It makes me sad that she doesnt still have her father, but also grateful that I have mine.

val said...

Oh you'd love this book: Stories from the Motherline. It's written by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky.

But there are stories from the fatherline too...

Yeah. love, Val


Funny. I have the same sort of questions about my parents, and I am trying to understand where they came from and how they became themselves, and how I came from them.

I have been writing about it. If you are interested in my first few hundred words, I'll be happy to email them to you. Write me at heizen14@yahoo.com

Elizabeth said...

I know what you mean.

I've learned a lot about my parents from stories I've overheard them telling other people. My family is big into reminiscing though.

I also know my dad was deeply affected by his time in viet nam, even though he never, ever talks about it.

Love this musing post.

Unknown said...

I'm a female version of my dad. Mostly. And as I go though life and face the hurts and stresses and disappointments I never could have imagined, I kinda get him more. I really love my dad. And yes, I'm my daddy's girl. Always will be.