Today I just feel like dumping my thoughts out. Lately, I’ve been feeling more down again. I wouldn’t say completely depressed but just sad at times. I’m pretty sure it’s the time of year; holidays fast approaching, etc. November 10 was 2 years since my dad passed. Anyone that actually knows me, knows that my relationship with my dad was not really that strong. I didn’t respect a lot of his life decisions and actions and in my opinion could’ve done a much better job of being an earthly father. I didn’t appreciate the drug use and dealing. I didn’t appreciate the abusive behavior that I witnessed. I watched him throw jumper cables at my mom…I was really quite young then, but I remember. I remember hearing the screams and cries of my step-mom through the heater vents of my 2nd floor bedroom. I covered my head and tried to block it out but that never worked. I was scared. I remember watching him punish my brother physically one time. Needless to say, I was scared of my dad. But I had to live with him. I because a little goody goody as some would call it. I made sure I did very well in school (which wasn’t hard for me because I actually enjoyed school – it was my refuge). I did all the chores and I never talked back. Many times I was even afraid to answer questions if he asked. Afraid of what he might think. I nearly turned to stone. I remember being pulled out of my dance class because my mom was late picking me up one night and my dad got mad at her. Dad never took me anywhere..we didn’t have a car. And he never paid for the lessons. I loved dance! I was so hurt and disappointed that I had to suffer just because my dad was mad at my mom. Talk about unfair. I really disliked living there and much of my childhood was tough. I’m glad I liked school so much because that’s where I felt I could get away. During the summer, I was able to spend time at my grandma’s house with my aunt (my dad’s younger sister). I loved going there. My grandma was always willing to talk with me. I could even be honest with her on how I didn’t like the pot smoking and what not. I also was able to go to mom’s every other weekend. I liked going to my mom’s too. She was always nice and my step-dad was nice too. She just didn’t have the means to support us living with her I guess nor did she have the courage to fight with my dad for custody. She was pretty passive when I think about it. Today, I’m pretty certain children would be removed from situations like that and placed in foster. The summer between 8th and 9th grade, my brother and I got to visit with my mom for a few weeks. She lived in a trailer park in a small town north of where my dad lived. This mobile home had the extra rooms for us and we liked it there. That summer I did the bravest thing I ever did. Honestly, I don’t know where my courage came from. We wanted to live with my mom, but when asked, my dad would say no. Our only way was to turn him in to the authorities. I remember being quite nervous talking to the police. By the way, my mom had nothing to do with our decision to do this. She did give us a ride to the police station though. That summer we moved in with my mom. But I never got over my fears of my dad. I saw him less and less. In adulthood, I rarely visited…only around holidays. I called him on Father’s Day and birthday’s, but that was about it. When I had my own kids, I just didn’t want them exposed to any of the pot use or anything so I never let them stay overnight there. I had very little respect for him and I still feared him. Not only that, I was afraid to tell him any of my thoughts. After my mom passed away and as I approached my 40’s, I had obviously matured and thought differently about a lot of things. I had come to realize that my dad had his own demons and didn’t handle them well. Not to say he had an excuse for being the way he was….but I did make a better effort to see him a little more. It was not easy and I never did get over the fear and I never was able to express my true feelings. He did make a better grandparent than parent though. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer at some point, but I’m not sure when. It wasn’t until October of 2011 that his wife called us together and let us know he had cancer and it had metastasized to his brain in July…but had been dealing with lung cancer over a year. Part of me was very upset that nobody let me know. However, that was up to my dad. He didn’t want to. I’m sure he didn’t want to burden us with extra worry and probably didn’t want sympathy. I did visit him a couple times. Once was in the nursing home he was in. That was so hard to see him so pale and thin and weak. I left in tears. I also visited the evening of November 9. He was home and in hospice care. He was very weak and barely coherent. But I was able to tell him I loved him and he said the same. Again I left in tears. My dad was NEVER one to express emotion much or say I love you. He died early the next morning. We all gathered around his bed and talked and remembered him. It was just a small group of us. His wife, me and my husband, my aunt and her husband and my half sister. We laughed and cried. Then they came for his body. Such a gut wrenching thing to see.
One might think that because my relationship with my dad was so tough that I would find some sort of relief when he died. But I’m here to tell you, that’s not true at all. If anything, it’s worse. I feel a lot of guilt for not visiting more. I deal with resentment too. There were so many questions and stuff that I had that I’ll never know answers to because I was too afraid to approach him.
I’m a firm believer in family and that you should do whatever you can to mend the relationships you have before something like death happens.
November 10 wasn’t bad. I did okay. I actually had a dream a couple nights before that my dad was in. I was caught off guard but I think he was thinking of me.
I think I’ll stop spilling for now.
Peace. Love. Smile