Always Daddy’s Girl


Hello, Friends,

I truly hope that your holidays and the New Year were a blessed time for you!

I spent Christmas Eve at my parents house with my Daddy, Mom, my brother and his wife and kids and my husband and daughter.  The boys didn’t go this year – my mom can be a bit difficult to deal with and she sometimes chases them away.

It always gets me thinking because my Daddy is no longer a young man.  You notice I said, “Daddy.”  My father was in the Marine Corp and I was raised with a deep and abiding respect for all things American.  The Military, the Flag, The Pledge of Allegiance, The St. Louis Cardinals and Chili Dogs.  I have always, always been Daddy’s girl.  My mom wanted a girl – unfortunately, she got a tom-boy that preferred fishing with Daddy to baking and sewing with Mom.

My Daddy is a bit of a hell-raiser.  Truthfully, I don’t know how my parents stay married!!  They are two totally different people.  Growing up, most of my friends referred to my father as “Dad.”  They called my mom Mrs. X.  Not that she isn’t a good person – because she is – it is just that my Daddy inspire this immediate love and affection for other people.

Growing up, it was not uncommon for BOTH my Daddy and I to be in trouble with Mom.  My first car was a “sports car” that I bought with my own money – Daddy found it for me.  We had a running bet on who would get the first speeding ticket.  It was me – but only because he talked the officer into a warning – not FAIR!  The punishment – I had to pay my own ticket and I owed him a steak dinner.

Daddy and I were always running off together.  We would work together on project at the cemetery, or go off fishing or walking the railroad tracks  or to the ball game.  We would sit on the old bar stools pouring peanuts into our glass bottles of Pepsi – trying not to choke on them…or burp too loud.  Of course, when my brother was old enough – he went with us.  Just the three of us.

My Mom has never forgiven my Dad for letting me get my ears pierced or for signing the papers for me to join the Army.  She had different dreams for me and I think she often blames Dad for them not coming to fruition.

What I can’t seem to explain to Mom is just that this is who I am.  I would rather fish than bake cookies.  I would rather ride the motorcycle than sew doll clothes.  I would rather run wild through the woods and camp under the stars than to clean my house or hang new curtains.  In other words – Mom…I love you but I don’t really care that you bought new swags for the picture window!  Hell, I’m not even sure what purpose swags fill!!  However, I can go into Daddy’s office with him and break down a handgun and talk about how the fish are biting.

Regular readers know that Joan is not my name.  Actually, I have taken Joan from my Patron Saint – Joan of Arc.  I have been encouraged on more than one occasion to come out – to talk as myself – to show my face – to really be a voice.  I can’t do it…not because I am afraid and not because I can’t take the heat of proving my statements…but because I can’t do that to Daddy.

My parents don’t know.  I can see their reaction plain as day.  Mom will blame Daddy – Daddy will blame himself – and it will break his heart.  My Dad loves the military, he loves the VSO that we are both members of.  When I became Commander he bragged to all his friends – see what my daughter is doing!  I serve other positions and he brags to his friends.  I get this notice or that accolade and his friends hear it again.  I think they probably get tired of listening to him 🙂

The reality is that I still love the military – I love the VSO.  I have said it before, it wasn’t the Army that did this to me, it was a few really bad leaders/soldier that did this to me.

Most importantly – I love my Daddy…I love him like bees love honey and hummingbirds love flowers.  I love him like cats love windowsills and bikers love bikes.  All that I have lived through, the thing that scares me most of all is to no longer have him on this earth.  I could never break his heart by becoming the “real me.”  So – for now you will just have to put up with Joan and what little she can do from her computer.  As for “me” – I will continue to fight and support for change for my fellow Veterans – but not as a Survivor.

Blessings,

Joan

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