SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Karma Has Three Fathers
May 23rd, 2017 by Dr Karma

In my grief, I have not thought about you, my readers. The word “daddy” could technically belong to three people, even though I’ve only ever used it for one man.

I have three dads.

My father was James Dean Norris. (I was born Karma Jewreen Norris.) He and my mother got divorced fairly soon after my birth. He died when I was four, and I don’t remember him. He didn’t see me much in between–I don’t know the whole story, except that my grandparents were afraid that if he had access to me, he’d take me.
I have spent a fair amount of time in therapy dealing with growing up without knowing much about him. My mother only told me a few good things about him when I was young. I heard the bad stuff from others–who thought I knew.
That he cheated on her.
A lot.
That when she finally left him, she had to do so with a black eye.
I know he wanted me and was excited about my birth, but I don’t know why he didn’t fight to see me.
He left me two poems, for my 18th birthday (he’d had a premonition that he’d die at 35). They were about reincarnation–I wanted them to be about us. He was an American buddhist (yes, he named me).
I wanted, for a really long time, to understand him, in hopes of understanding myself.
My mom always told me that I got my intelligence from him and from her father (my daddy). I think I was also lucky enough to get whatever inspires loyalty from one’s loved ones.
My therapist once said that my dad could have been a cult leader. The two women I know who loved him loved him completely. He cheated on them, but they both swear he was their soul mate.
I don’t claim to have that kind of power, but when people talk about my cult following on campus, I think of my father.
I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t have the answers I want and the fact that those answers wouldn’t have answered questions about me anyway.

I went to live with my daddy, my grandfather, when I was 2 and my mom couldn’t take care of me. He wrote in his memoirs that he became a father again that year. No one ever thought it was strange that I called him that. He was just retired from the military, but he was only in his 40s. Every time I called home after living there, my grandmother would tell me where my “daddy” was and what he was doing.
In my EMDR therapy for PTSD, when I’m asked to picture a figure of protection, I think of him.
After my father died, mom gave us both daddy’s last name.
It was he who came to pick me up from the hospital after my son was born–when I was 17 and alone. To take me home when my son’s father and my mother couldn’t/wouldn’t take care of me.

I had a step-father in between, from when I was 5 to when I was 17, when he became my estranged ex-step-father. Our relationship was always difficult, and his request that I call him daddy seemed ridiculous. When my mother finally left him, he took us both out of the will. He also used his lawyer to take half of my money, not just half of my mom’s (I had just over a hundred dollars in a shared account from working the previous summer). (He, like my father, had cheated on her (a lot), but he managed to use his money to lie about everything and to screw her over again after so many years of practice.) I dream about his house fairly frequently–I’m always there, looking for something. (A therapist, long ago: “duh–your childhood!”) The thing I would most want from that house likely isn’t there anymore–a dollhouse my daddy handmade for me that didn’t make it out during the Waltonen woman exodus.

For all those years in between, I was still with my daddy every summer and most weekends.

It’s my daddy who’s died this week. The best man I’ve ever known. I didn’t get to say goodbye or to be there.

We won’t be having services this week–my family, the backwoods people that we are, don’t have regular services with pastors or with non-family people.

A couple of years ago, everyone waited to put my grandmother’s ashes in the ground until the boy and I could get down there.

The boy and I will not be able to go down for more than a day or two until August, so daddy’s ashes will wait above ground until then.

I’m the black sheep in my family, the prodigal daughter. But I get to be home to bury daddy, just like the stories promise.

Share

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa