Dad

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made from what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart

I never really had a dad.   I had a father, for a while, although I don’t remember it.  As a little girl I certainly never had a Daddy. I wanted one.  For years I was obsessed with the idea of fathers.  As a 13 year old I convinced myself that I was beyond needing that, but it was ok for fictional characters…and so I wrote about daughters and fathers and sons.

I’ve had 2 stepfathers in my life, and neither one of them were fathers to me. I really have no concept of what fathers are supposed to be like. You might as well try describing colour to the blind, it’s that foreign to me.

Although I have been searching for it all of my life.

I love my father, as a person, as a concept.  I’ve learned how to deal with the idea of him, now that I’m an adult.

But the fact remains that my father is an alcoholic.  It is so bad that it has caused dementia/alzheimers.  He has been homeless.  He can barely walk. He beat my mother (and I imagine his first wife Reta) to the point that she ended up in the hospital multiple times.  He is not a stable man.

He will probably die before I ever see him again. I may not even know when it happens. I’m not sure I want to know.

Tonight my dearest cousin texted me and said she was at her parents’ house and guess who was there? My dad.  Did I want to talk to him?

It needs to be understood that I haven’t seen the man in 15 years.  I certainly haven’t spoken to him in that long. He has dementia. I hate the phone.  I just…it was too fast. Too sudden. I couldn’t do it. If I had been there in person, with my Nish family, it would have been ok.  I could have hugged him, told him I loved him, something.

But maybe he wouldn’t have known me? Maybe he would have been drunk and angry.  Maybe he would have been a stranger.  Maybe it’s better not knowing.

But it hurts that I am in this position.  It hurts that I never had a father. I know he had a shit life. But he inflicted that on his wives and kids, too.  He saw a picture of his grandkids for the first time tonight.  Did he understand that? Did he care?

Does he feel bad because of what happened to his older daughter? Does he miss us? Why is it up to me to talk to him? He has a police officer friend who could have googled me 5 years ago and found me.  Never happened.

I am a Daddy’s girl without a Daddy.  A Nish without a family. A now only child.  How did this get so fucked up?

And why?

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I’ve done you blame me for

Maybe if my Dad had asked to talk to me instead of my cousin setting it up.  Maybe if he had wanted to know I’m ok.  I’m sure he didn’t ask. He might have assumed I’m ok, I don’t know.  But given how my sister died, he shouldn’t.  I am ok though.

In spite of him.

He’s not ok.  He’s far worse off without me and joy, his girls, his babies, than we were without him.

But we all deserved better.

One thought on “Dad”

  1. Dear Cousin:
    I love you to pieces and this blog that you wrote, brought tears to me. It was nothing like a set up, it was a mere lovely thought, since he was there (which I did not know until that very moment that I saw him) and you and I are so close and I was there. He did ask about you. When I told him that I was talking to you, he was ecstatic. His face lit up as we talked about you, and also as he looked at the pictures you sent me. I didn’t mean for it to be thrown at you, it was only a thought.
    I spent a lot of my life being angry at Laurie/Lori (you know, the one who’s supposed to be my mother, but really was only an incubator? Yeah…that one) until eventually I realized I was/am so much better off without her influence, drama and toxicity. I hope you don’t stay angry for long, but I do understand. I love you to the moon and back.

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