January 18, 2006

Back In The Race

Life has a way of...surprising you.
Some of you know that my parents went through a pretty ugly split this past year. I'm 26 years old. That didn't make it any easier. In point of fact, it made it a lot harder, because I'm fully capable of knowing not only the damage inflicted on my siblings and I, but also the extent to which my parents were able to really shatter each other's lives and fuck each other up beyond reason. OK, I'm being a little too fair here. The extent to which my mother basically destroyed my dad.
You see, my father is just under 53 years old. He's never really known much except my mother and trying to make her happy (which, we have all since discovered, is akin to looking for actual humor in an episode of "The War at Home"). When she walked out, my siblings and I were, for lack of a better word, worried. What would he do? He didn't have many friends, and was beyond devestated. He had few hobbies, no stated interests, and seemed to have resigned himself to an eternity of sitting at home feeling sorry for himself and mourning a life that may not have been all that great in the first place, slowly sinking into the sedentiary depression that eventually helped claim his father.
And life went on. He fell into a depression. The he climbed out. He panicked. He raged. He worried about what he was going to do with his life.
Gradually, things got better.
She emptied the house. He refilled it. Holidays normally spent with her family were scaled down in attendance, but not in spirit. He learned to do a lot for himself. He learned that he has his own taste in decorating and clothing, nothing like what he lived with for over 30 years.
And tonight, a mere 5 months after she walked out the door, he sent an email to me, Brother and Sister.
It would seem that my dad, at the age of 52, without telling anyone except his best friend, saved a little money, trained tirelessly, and flew to Phoenix to run in a marathon last week.
The man who was always a bit overweight, who devoted his entire life to his wife and children and never to doing much of anything to challenge himself or make himself happy snuck across the country and ran a fucking marathon.
And he finished.
I literally sat here speechless for about 5 minutes. And I'm not ashamed in the least to say that when I finally got over the shock of the whole thing, I realized I was crying just a little bit.
Proud doesn't begin to cover it. Neither does "Happy for him". In point of fact, if ever in my life there were to be a point of metaphorical critical mass, I believe this is, without a shadow of a doubt, it.
Who is this man?
I'm just completely floored by the turnaround he's gone through, not just since August, but from the man I've known my entire life.
Way to go, Dad. Keep running.

6 Comments:

Blogger d2ana said...

Beautiful. Awesome.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Dancinfairy said...

Totally inspiring. I could never have kept a secret like that. Or run a marathon!

7:03 AM  
Blogger Serra said...

Fantastic! Usually it's a woman who gets to find herself after a divorce. It's too cool seeing that it happens to men too.

9:55 AM  
Blogger AnonymousCoworker said...

Wow, that's quite a secret to keep. Very cool!

11:08 AM  
Anonymous bradders0201 said...

Wow! I can relate to this as my mother picked herself up, got re-trained at college (obtaining better grades than me!) and refused to allow herself to wallow in any self pity. She got a good job and a good man. Divorce is crap, but it can open all sorts doors to the world that may have been hitherto undiscovered. So who needs those "Eternal Sunshine.." pills? I´ll settle for the ones that last for the weekend only. And trite as it may sound, remember, when something ends, something also begins.

12:06 PM  
Blogger allison said...

Fan-fucking-tastic. Go Dad!

3:47 PM  

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