I was going to write this tomorrow but something compelled me to do it now. A year ago tomorrow I got the 6AM call that my Dad had passed away after a long battle with congestive heart failure and a short battle with pneumonia. The hospital put him into a coma to treat the pneumonia and he came out briefly and then went back in until his wife decided to shut off life support and let him go.
My Dad was with us until I was 9. My parents split up and the divorce was final when I was 12. He called every day until he was asked to pay child support and then I rarely heard from him. He sent gifts and my Mom usually sent them back because he never treated my sister and I equally. For many years I wondered what made me so unlovable that he didn't come see me or keep in touch. When I was in High School we got a letter from SSDI that he had been disabled at work and the last bit of his child support came from there. I reached out many times over the years and I got cards occasionally and letters but not much else.
In 2009 he got very sick and Razark and I flew to St. Louis and drove to Illinois to see him. It was awkward but also peaceful for me because I came to the realization that I really couldn't beat myself up for a relationship failure that I had tried so hard to fix. I sent letters and kept him in pictures of his grandkids but I couldn't afford to go back up and see him.
He died October 18, 2013. It was the first day Razark could go back the work after the government shutdown ended. He repeated asked if he needed to stay home with me. I told him to go. After 2 weeks of no work and 1 7 days of working from home I couldn't ask him to stay home. I could not get back for the funeral. It is something that will guilt me forever. It was either go back and starve or stay home and take care of the family. I probably could have contacted some programs to help me get there seeing as he was an Army and Air Force Veteran but I didn't want to go alone. His funeral was the following Monday October 21. I wanted my husband and best friend by my side especially since I was not in the shape to drive at that point.
My Father and I had a complicated relationship. He couldn't travel and so he never met his grandkids. He missed my high school graduation, my wedding, and my 1st college graduation. I have 3 brothers. One doesn't talk to me for Lord knows what reason, one is an alcoholic thief who stole from my Mom and I and took off, and the youngest is the best brother in the world. I love and adore him very much. I have never met him face to face but we keep in touch regularly. He looks just like our Dad too.
I have Daddy issues. It is a double-edged sword because it allows me a deeper understanding of what children with those issues feel but it can interfere too.
I loved my Dad. I was a total Daddy's girl until he moved out. We did model trains together, we sang together, he taught me how to write programs in BASIC, and cultivated multiple loves that I still have today. He was very intelligent. His last job with the USAF here was in Weather and he taught me cloud formations and I am a total weather freak. I love Hurricanes though not the destruction that they leave behind. I have the last family picture that we took as a family hanging in the entry hall of my home. I am not sure that I have even scratched the surface on dealing with our relationship, his life, or his death. I know I have never grieved for him properly. It is hard because he, my Mom, and my sister did not get along so I have been having to grieve very privately and it isn't going well. I think about him often and I know that I tried with him. I balance 4 kids, full time school, a house, and a husband which leaves little time for chasing people to be in my life.
I wish I could say that I am over it but it hasn't even begun. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday. I have huge papers to work one for school but I am saving tonight for quiet reflection and snuggling with my kids which was what I did the day he died too.