Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happiness Always

The date is May 25th, 1977. The book is a biography about Clark Gable, a "quintessential Hollywood actor" who perhaps my father admired--like so many things that he admired about the world that brings dreams of the collective human heart to life. I am almost eight months old and this date is my parents' anniversary. My father wishes my mother love, a long life, and happiness always. Of course by giving her a book about Hollywood life for a present he has only wanted to share his love of something he sees as wonderful. So wonderful that he has neglected to realize that she does not care about these things--she is, after all, from California. A place she still speaks of as being "elite, snobbish, vain, self-centered, and about gaining power and recognition at any cost." Their daughter would say that both of them are right, to some degree.

But this book (which is now mine) and his words penned in his own handwriting on the inside flap, is one of the few tangible things I have left of my father. It is one of the few pieces that give me some insight into who he was. And into who his daughter might be. The funny thing is that biology has more influence over some things, I think, than we care to realize. This is a man that did not raise me beyond the age of five, but whose personality and love for that world of "something wonderful" has somehow instilled itself into my veins. At this moment running through the coincidences is too difficult because the realization of what could have been between us is too painful.

Still, what remains in these words from my father is happiness always. The happiness that comes from realizing that I don't really have to wonder who my father was or hold onto the "bad" things that I was told about him. Perhaps they were real. Perhaps he lived in a time when sensitivity wasn't understood at all and perceived incorrectly. Because what I see and feel in these words is human. A little poetic. A little bit of a dreamer. A little bit of me.


  1. Sounds like your father was at the least, an "unrecognized HSP" and at worst, a "calloused HSP." These definitions are from my HSP Subcultures .. I would hope that eventually you will be able to "run through those coincidences" and imagine, and grieve, what could have been between you and your father. Shining a light on the pain in our lives helps the healing process toward that "something wonderful" we all hope for. Jacquelyn

  2. I think it is lovely that you can simply hold your father in your heart and let it be. It is a wonderful ability to have and it honors both of you.