First of all I want to wish all the dad's out there a Happy Father's Day. In honor of father's day I will not be saying much about my own father. Instead I want to say that I have known some truly great dads over the years. I have also had friends who have told me about how great their father's are.
Over the years I have occasionally met devout religious people who, when they have heard me speak of my father, have told me that I have to honor my parents no matter what. I usually spout off something terrible my father did and then say something like, "Can I honor your father instead?" I consider the telling last week of what happened to my father my way of honoring the him. He was once an innocent child and he did not become the man he became on his own.
I remember once being astounded by a friend describing her father to me. I really had no experience with someone who respected their father like that. She told me about how he would talk to her about right and wrong and tell her that he trusted her to do the right thing. Her father gave her advice that she followed and that helped her in life. Her father spent time with her. Her father never once in her memory hit her. His name was Keith and I honor Keith today.
Another good friend told me about how her father encouraged her education. He warned her that as a young woman and a minority, she would face challenges that men did not face and that she would have to work hard and do well to succeed. I never had a chance to meet her father, but I have never met a woman who had more respect for her father either. I honor Lassero today.
My uncle was a good man. I was named for him. He was the only man in my life, besides my eldest brother, who never intentionally harmed me. He did give me a whipping once. This was the way of our family and many others back then. He tried to look after me and protect me. He loved us kids, and though he very clearly suffered greatly from his experiences in Viet Nam, he did what he could for us. I honor Uncle Steve today.
Knowing these men and many others like them made me a better person and a better mother. To all the good good men out in the world, taking good care of their kids. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
THIS WEEK: We all know what has been going on in Iran this week. My heart aches for the people of Iran and at the same time my spirit soars with theirs as they stand up to tyranny and violence. Having been a victim of violence and oppression, though on a much, much smaller, family scale has made me a little emotionally overwrought this week. One photo in particular gave me a pause. It is the photo of the protestor that was beaten. The once that shows the welts.
I've seen welts like that in the mirror. Sometimes my father's beatings would leave welts from the back of our legs to the middle of our backs. I say we because I had it no worse than my siblings. Being the youngest he may have tried to go easy on me. It doesn't matter now but I cried for a minute and then a new feeling entered me. A feeling of joy. Here is a brave young man, standing proud showing of his battle wounds and only waiting for the opportunity to go out tomorrow and face the same thugs and maybe even worse. Willing to face down the violence and the oppression at any cost.
I stood up like that once. I stood up to violence and oppression in my own life and I won. I left it all behind and no one is allowed to hurt me anymore. I also show my scars. I no longer cut my hair so that the scars on my forehead will not show. I decided years ago that my hair looks prettier pulled back and that I am not going to hide my scars in shame. I came by them honestly.
So I watch with joy and fear as the people of Iran do the same thing. What I wish that I could say to my brothers and sisters in Iran is that your courage gives me courage. Your strength gives me strength. Your passion fills me with passion and your hope gives me great hope. May your enterprise be truly blessed.
I have been agitated all week and things kind of came to a head when I just got sick to death of Sarah Palin exploiting her daughter, and all survivors of sexual assault, in order to stay in the media spotlight and try to prop up her national ambitions. You may have read my diary about it. I just wanted to say about that, that I was so upset I finally managed to embed a video in a diary. I am kind of proud of that small accomplishment so in a way I should be thankful to her for being such a obnoxious cow.