Lately I've been thinking about cycles.
In my family, there's a history of fatherless children. My mom's dad died when she was two, and my dad became severely unable to be a father when I was three. My dad's father died when he was in his early 20s.
This means that not only did/do I not have a satisfactory relationship with my own father, I also had a non-existent relationship with each of my grandfathers since they had both passed away long before I was born.
The only real strong male figures in my life growing up were my brother and my uncle Charles. And when I say "only," I don't mean that in a negative way, only in a way meant to illustrate that there was an absence in my life growing up where a dad should be. I don't blame my dad; his condition is not his fault. It's circumstances, really.
As a result (and with a lot of work), I have grown up to be quite the independent woman. I know how to take care of myself, and I know I don't need a man to define me. So far it appears that I've beaten the odds. I am happily married to a man who is more than willing to let me be my own headstrong, independent self. I've got it made, to be honest.
But I am afraid. This whole time I've been wondering if this is all too good to be true. How did I actually end up in a functional and happy marriage? I have quite the laundry list of dysfunctional boyfriends and relationships preceding this marriage; how did I beat those odds and manage to get into something so....well, good?
I can't help but feel that something has got to go wrong. Surely I was not meant to be happy. Surely I don't deserve to have a normal life complete with lazy Sunday afternoons and family dinners, a baby boy whose room is painted blue, and a husband who makes me mac and cheese whenever I want it. Surely something is going to come along and screw it up.
I am most scared that Charlie (and our other children) will have to suffer through what I lived through: the lack of love from a parent. I want so badly for everything to work out. It doesn't have to be perfect. The house doesn't have to be Donna Reed clean; we don't have to have a ton of money in the bank; and those fantasy vacations may be put off indefinitely. But really, all I want is the guarantee that our kids will always have both of us, for better or for worse - and that I won't be left without Roy as my husband and best friend.
Ten years ago, if you would have asked me about family, I would have said, "Eh, I can take 'em or leave 'em." But now family is everything.
If I were a praying woman, my prayer would be this:
Please do not take my everything. Please don't allow this painful cycle of fatherless children to continue. Please help me to stop fearing abandonment. Please help me to stop waiting for something bad to happen. Please let me keep my normal and happy life. Please do not take my everything.
I want the cycle broken. And I want to stop feeling the sorrow that I felt as a child, knowing that my dad would never be able to love me the way I needed to be loved. I want to stop fearing this for my own children.
More than anything, I just want to stop waiting for that other heavy shoe to drop.