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Chasing The American Dream

June 15, 2005


I know what I want to say; I’m just not sure how to say it. This Sunday there will be a celebration across the country. Families will celebrate together, parties will be had, dinners will be made, and the man for whom all the hubbub is all about will be treated oh so specially. Of all the days of the year, it’s the day I fear the most. Deamons talk to me, pangs of guilt return for the day, ghosts and fond memories all of which combine for a rather depressing Father’s Day.

My father was a helluva man. And although he and mom divorced when I was only three, he was my very best friend right up until the day he died of lung cancer some 13 years ago. I’d only see him two weeks out of the year but what fun we had when he came down to visit. We swam, we golfed, we ate like royalty, we played poker, and we laughed. Oh how we laughed. It’s really odd how my sister and I remember these little obscure moments in time and the words he said. We can quote him verbatim even to this day. He eventually moved down to Florida, and I got to live with him beginning my senior year in high school.

During that year and my years in college, I truly realized how special he was. He was so well liked by everyone. He taught me a lot in a short time. I modeled myself after him in many ways. I wanted to be like him, behave like him, and be as well liked as him. I don’t know about being as well liked, but my behaviors and ethics resemble him. And for that I’m proud.

Some moments in time you don’t forget. Dad had been sick for reasons unknown. He needed help, and I drove down to help him go through endless tests. Dad was in his hospital bed; I was sitting in the adjacent chair when the Oncologist came in. “Mr. Moser, you have inoperable lung cancer. You’ve got about six months to live. I’m sorry.” I’m sure I must have gone pale and did my best to hide my fear as I watched Dad try to process this unbelievable news. His face expressed bewilderment more than anything else. It was rough being there and having to deliver such news to the family, but I am glad I was there for him. For the next three months I helped him make his final move to Vermont where my sister, a hospice nurse at the time, would care for him until he died four months later. Being fatherless sucks. I think about him often, but how can I *not * think about him on Father’s Day?

When I married, I got along great with my father-in-law. It was great to have a father again. The divorce severed that relationship quickly. As soon as he found out about our impending divorce, he never said a word to me and hasn’t since. I guess he hates me for leaving his daughter. Come to think of it, I’m not sure how he honestly felt about me? I probably don’t want to know the truth at this point.

And now the really difficult part. I grew up without my father and promised myself that I’d never leave my children. Promise broken. My son is growing up with his father thousands of miles away just like I did. I feel bad for me, but I especially feel bad for him. Still, I know I made the right decision despite this hardship. Spending Father's Day without him is an empty feeling and always hard for me to comprehend. I miss that little guy, and I always will. And come Sunday, *all* these fatherly feelings will be magnified. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to it.


  • Well, Happy Father's Day anyway! Take some comfort in knowing that you're definitely not alone in that boat.

    By Blogger Jewels, at 6:09 AM, June 16, 2005  

  • Rest assured in your wise choices. This post does make me sad and I do relate to all too well. My father lived in the same house as I did and I don't know anything about him. Now I live in another country and wonder if I will ever know anything about him. All I want is a phone call, which I have not once recieved in all my 26 years. So, screw distance...just pick up the phone, write a letter, fly out to see him when you can. Those efforts make all of the difference. Plus, it is never too late to start fresh and be the good father you want to be.

    xx amanda

    By Blogger Amanda, at 11:49 AM, June 16, 2005  

  • Ditto Amanda. Screw distance. He's your son, call - write - email, just do whatever to stay in touch and share things with him. You of all people should realize that all moments with your Dad are special ones, 'cause you never know when your time will be up.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 5:03 PM, June 16, 2005  

  • Everyone's got [Daddy] issues.

    Isn't that what you say?

    The whole Father's Day concept gets muddled over here. I somehow have to make time for my two dads (Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan, circa 1987, anyone?) while making sure not to forget two grandfathers (one of which suffers from dementia). I know, woe is me, I've got more than most people may. But man, I tell you it's dysfunctional and awkward and complicated as hell.

    By Blogger JuRiScHiCk, at 7:22 PM, June 16, 2005  

  • This is my first comment, although I think I've read most of the archives. I hope you are able to talk to your son in a way that will be meaningful to you both on this Father's Day.

    My son's father and I remarried (due to issues much like these), and I remember that I was required to let my son spend Father's Day with his Father. I guess this wasn't in your agreement?

    Again, my thoughts will be with you. I think you are a brave man to go for your dreams. So many of us have given them up for what we hope will be the "greater good" for our families. Before I get slammed by your friends, please notice the quotes - I am completely unsure if it will turn out to be the "greater good" or not - I'm flying by the seat of my pants, just like everyone else.

    By Anonymous Robin in Birmingham, at 10:38 PM, June 16, 2005  

  • You do as much as you can: you call him and talk to him and you treat each moment together like a gift. You do this for him and you do this for you.

    He will know what kind of man you are. You show him constantly by your words and actions.

    And I know it's small consolation, but you'll see him soon.

    By Anonymous ~Kabe, at 1:41 AM, June 17, 2005  

  • Is there no way for you to fly to AZ for Saturday night and Sunday morning? I know it would be extravagant, but it sounds like you need it as much as your son does.

    By Blogger Denise, at 2:16 AM, June 17, 2005  

  • just know that we all support you, and at least we'll be with you (in spirit) on sunday. take care.

    By Blogger ropedncr, at 10:33 AM, June 17, 2005  

  • What is this Father's Day? I'm from Romania...we don't celebrate shite like this. Just another "day" to make people feel guilty. Fecking Hallmark--they're all parasites.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 11:03 AM, June 17, 2005  

  • Hmmmm... this is interesting... of all the comments, I like Robotniks the most :)

    That said, I also agree with the other commenters. Like I told you before, you almost have to work HARDER since he's so far away. The time you'd spend talking and eating with him, getting him ready for school and watching his soccer games, should now be spent calling, writing, emailing, sending little gifts and "this made me think of you" things. I know you're on it :)

    By Blogger girl from florida, at 3:16 PM, June 17, 2005  

  • We have killed Robotnik. Robotnik from now is out of order. Of this hour in then we write only the history of happy love and with the good conclusions and ending.

    Alessandro Rosetti

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 PM, June 17, 2005  

  • WTF?

    By Blogger JuRiScHiCk, at 5:15 PM, June 17, 2005  

  • Thanks for the well wishes everyone. I'm flying to Phoenix on the 30th to spend 10 days with my boy! Guess you can call it a belated Father's Day present.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 3:18 AM, June 18, 2005  

  • Happy Father's Day Todd!

    It sucks that you can't be with your son today but I'm glad you'll be able to spend a lot of time with him soon.

    Take care.

    By Anonymous ESSFingers, at 3:18 PM, June 19, 2005  

  • Happy Father's day!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:29 PM, June 19, 2005  

  • Frighteningly, I agree with LX. It's a hallmark holiday. The sentiment is great of course, but the actual day is irrelevant. You'll get to celebrate a real father's day soon.

    By Blogger Gatsby, at 9:22 PM, June 19, 2005  

  • Island girl put it perfectly. Never too late to start making things great. Hope you are doing well and things are getting a little better. Get some sleep!

    By Blogger Elle, at 5:13 PM, June 22, 2005  

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