There’s a story a man has told for most of his life. He has changed the story to suit himself as he’s grown older and wiser and gained life experience. He knows the story intimately, yet he doesn’t really know it at all. While he believes in his story, he is aware that it could change, but he has believed that he will be the one to control that change, and for most of his life this has been true. But now that idea is in question.
The story is about his father. The story is about his relationship to his father. The story is not supplemented with information from his mother because she is not here to give it to him or to help him interpret it. She died when he was seven years old, and of course she is part of the story too. He composes his story over the years with help from his memories and a scrapbook of fading photographs and the stories of his grandparents and his mother’s sisters and brothers. His father re-entered his life briefly many years ago via private investigator to tell some parts of the story again in his own words. He incorporated those phone conversations with his father into his story.
This man is my partner. He received a phone call last week with some new information for his story. The information was that his father had died. Strangely, he died here in Seattle, far away from where the story started, within miles of our home, unbeknownst to us. So now the story is changing rapidly, and he must find a way to understand it again, incorporating the information he is receiving in the wake of his father’s death.
I want to tell some stories about my partner and his father. But these will be MY stories. I will only write these stories because he trusts me and has given me permission to do so, and because he knows that writing stories is helpful for me, and maybe he believes it could be helpful for him too.
When one has not had a good father, one must create one.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche