Friday, June 7, 2013

The story about my Dad,,.

I have been on a sort of a blogging hiatus. Only because I taught myself to crochet and have since made both of my girls decent size blankets. I'm now working on one for my niece and one for my mother in law.

 There are several things I really want to blog about that we have done lately that would be a much happier topic than what I'm going to talk about tonight. I think this may be therapeutic in some sort of way. There is a paper I wrote for English 101 in college about this topic that I would love to dig up (I know I still have it) but it expressed the earlier years so well! 


 I have memories of my dad in his apartment... but as for my first MAJOR memory of him, it was on my 5th birthday, we had a party at our house and at a certain time my dad was supposed to pick me up and he never showed up. I remember laying in my bed, crying, snuggling this pink bear that he had given my for Christmas the previous year. I can still picture this bear. (Totally pink with a nighttime cap and pink pajamas) My dad NEVER showed up! We lived in the same city; he actually only lived about 20 minutes from us. He would tell me he would be there at a certain time and IT JUST NEVER HAPPENED! He truly believed it was too far for him to come to our house to get my sisters and myself, BUT it wasn't too far for someone to take me/us to them. 

Because of the last couple of days and what happened last night, I know I'm going to leave some things out. But this is the best that I can do right now... 

When I was 9 or 10 he did come and pick me up and took me to one of the malls here. He sat on a bench, gave me money to go shopping and told me to come back when I was finished. I didn't want to make him mad, but I remember calling my mom and asked her to come shopping with me. She did, HE NEVER KNEW, she left and I went back to him when I was finished. The one thing he always did was send checks. Every birthday and every Christmas. I got to a point where I really didn't want them. I felt like he was just sending them because he FELT LIKE HE HAD TO since he had this "TITLE" of being my dad! Because he really didn't seem to WANT TO do anything else. I felt like I learned some lessons at an early age. The one thing I think I can say is he made me appreciate things and not be a materialistic person! I didn't want the things, I didn't want his money. There are checks somewhere I never cashed (although they would be nice now, as I am an adult and have bills). 

My dad was an alcoholic. There would be times that we would have long conversations (when he was drinking) but more times than not, he was just nasty about things. I remember when I was 13, I called to tell him Happy Father's Day and he actually said to me, "Is that all you want? Because I'm watching a movie". For many many years when I would hang up the phone from talking to him and just sit with my mom crying. He really doesn't think about anyone else AND he has no filter! 

I don't remember exactly when, but it was sometime between me being 13-15 (I think) maybe 16, but I sent him a letter with a self addressed stamped envelope, a piece of paper and pencil inside. I wrote him a letter saying I really wanted to hear from him, that I felt like I tried and tried to have a relationship with him and I sincerely felt like I was THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS EVER TRYING... and I never heard anything back. I only heard from him if I CALLED HIM and I never knew if it was going to be a good conversation, but I did know it would end with me hanging up and crying. 

When I was 16, I remember sitting in my room talking to him, he wanted to buy me a car. I really wanted a car! But I didn't want it from him, we came to the agreement that I would pay him back... and I did! EVERY PENNY. My first car was a Mercury Topaz, I don't remember the year. It was $3500.00. I worked and I sent him money every back until I paid him back! I don't remember exactly how this conversation went, but that was the first time that I couldn't hold back my tears until we hung up the phone. He didn't understand what was happening. I remember opening my bedroom door, my mom knew I was on the phone with him and she knew how the evening was going to go... when I opened the door I just handed her the phone. I sat there listening to her talk to him, telling him I end up in tears EVERY TIME we hang up the phone. This time I just couldn't hang on any longer. I've been very lucky. My mom has always been able to talk to him on the phone rationally. I've NEVER heard them yell at each other and she has never said a bad word about him to me... and I feel very fortunate for that! 

With my other sisters, when they were in high school, my mom and dad had an agreement that they would split the cost of the class rings. Well, this wasn't okay with me. I didn't make a big deal. I just told my mom I didn't want one. Finally one day she asked me what was going on; I explained to her that partially coming from him, it wouldn't mean anything to me. I don't know that this is the best way to explain it. But my mom and my step dad bought me a diamond and emerald ring that I have and it means so much to me. My dad came to my graduation. I DID NOT WANT HIM THERE. I just felt like he had NEVER came to ANYTHING I had ever been a part of before (and he was always invited). I just didn't feel like he deserved the right to be there! When I was told it was the right thing to do, to invite him, I didn't want to go anymore!!! I did go... but man! 

At my oldest sister's wedding, he looked at me and said, "You better elope, because I'm not doing this ever again!" I just said OK and thought to myself that I didn't want him to be there anyway... 

When I was 22 I went to work on a cruise ship. I found out 3 days before I was flying out that I had been hired... My mom has never told me what to do when it comes to my dad, but after talking to her, I decided to call to tell him what I was doing... just in case something happened. It was a nice conversation. He pointed out that he wasn't the best dad ever and that he hadn't made the best decisions in life. He said that he didn't know me like most dad's knew their kids but he knew that if I gave my word that I follow through. I had to sign a contract for my first six months... he said, "If you are unhappy at all or if you just want to leave, pack your bags, go someplace and call me. I won't get on an airplane, but I'll buy your mom a ticket and send her after you". This really meant something to me! I thanked him, told him that I knew I was going to be fine. Then I gave him the address to send me mail. I told him that I had spent all of my life trying to have a relationship with him and that I really felt like I was the only one trying! I told him that I wanted him to write to me, then I would write him back, he would write to me again and this would HAVE TO become a pattern. I was totally serious when I said this to him and he knew... But I told him if this didn't happen, then he would NEVER hear from me again. He said he doesn't do anything but work and play golf and he wouldn't have anything to write about. I said to him, "I don't care if you write to me and tell me that you stopped to get gas on your way home from work, you stepped on a bug when you got out of the car and the sky was blue. I just wanted HIM TO MAKE THE EFFORT!" He did! His letters were all about nothing, but they were the best letters ever! I loved them. I still have them. They really meant a lot! I would write to him, I would mail him postcards.... Things seemed to be turning around! 

While I was on a month vacation from the cruise ship, I went to visit a friend in Atlanta and a job as a Flight Attendant, with Delta, sort of fell in my lap. I bought a laptop and we continued to communicate via email. During this time, started dating this guy, I moved to Massachusetts, I stopped flying, we opened a restaurant and got engaged. Of course, I was so excited. When I called to tell him I was engaged, his response was, "Damn it, I guess I have to come to the wedding" ... REALLY???!?!?!! THAT'S WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY? NO FILTER!!! I replied, "No, you really don't have to go to the wedding, that's totally fine with me!" Our conversations were still hit and miss!!! Even thought with the great letters on the ship and things seemed to be turning around, the phone conversations were still always questionable. But this was the beginning of a new downward spiral with our "relationship". 

We didn't talk for quite awhile and one day I decided to call him and let him know that the wedding was going to be in my home city, not in Massachusetts... he said something about walking me down the aisle. I let him know that my step dad was going to do that (I'm sure not the easiest thing to hear as a dad)... He told me very sternly that that was his job and if he wasn't going to do that than he didn't have any reason to be there and that he didn't need anything more to do with me!! I told him that he has missed every important thing that has happened in my life (BY HIS CHOICE) and he wasn't going to "get to do this, just because he had this title of DAD" He told me we didn't need to talk anymore and hung up on me. I called him back 2 days later and he said, "I was really serious about what I said" I said ok, we hung up and I didn't talk to him anymore... 

I moved back from Massachusetts in 2003. It was in 2004 I believe, that he was having a pretty major heart surgery. My sister called to tell my mom. My mom sat down and said, I'm not telling you what to do by any means, but this is what's going on and it's just something for you to think about..... I took off work for a few days, I spent a lot of time driving, thinking, being by myself.... With this surgery, there was a chance that he wouldn't make it... I decided to go. Honestly, I didn't want to. I was there with my oldest sister and my uncle. The surgery took hours.... I had told my sister, if he said ANYTHING nasty or hateful to me, if he brought up anything from the past, I was just going to leave! When the surgery was over, we went into the recovery room (he had to lay flat), he saw me, asked me to move closer to the head of the bed so he could see me. I did... My uncle said something about how I laugh and smile all the time and my dad said, "She sure wasn't laughing the last time I talked to her"... I looked at my sister and was about to go. I stayed... we made it to his actual room and the nurse was talking about how it would be best for someone to stay with him overnight. He said he wanted me to... WHAT THE HELL??!?!! It honestly made sense for me to stay. My brother in law is handicapped, my niece was younger and still in school at the time. It just made sense. I went into the hall with my sister and said I would, but THE FIRST TIME IT COULD POTENTIALLY GET NASTY or if he wanted to rehash anything, I would leave first and call her on my way home.... This night, was honestly the best night we had ever had! At one point in the night, he looked at me and said that he had to get serious for a minute... I got nervous... but he started telling me that he was proud of all the things that I've done and even though he doesn't really know my that well, he's proud of the person I have become... what he does see... I left the hospital the next morning smiling, I was happy, I realized so many things we have in common. We like a lot of the same things. I was really content as I was driving away from there. Although like all things with him, all good things come to a screeching hault within no time at all.... I stayed the night as a favor to my sister... not because I wanted to... although I was happy with how it went... I didn't expect a big turn around. We didn't talk for quite awhile after that. I definitely didn't try to keep in touch with him, like I used to, after the wedding conversations when I was engaged the first time (I never got married, I broke off that engagement)... 

I met my now husband in 2007 and I called my dad around Christmas that year. I straight out told him if he got ugly I was hanging up... It wasn't actually ugly, but it wasn't totally pleasant, he's just kind of rude with some things he says. He doesn't think about anyone's feelings. I hung up saying I wish I hadn't called.... We got married October 2008 and my dad didn't know anything about it. He found out through my older sister... 

Early 2009 I talked to my sister about us going to dad's house so my husband could meet him at least once.... I was so sick to my stomach... but the visit wasn't horrible. We talked about my step son maybe meeting him but that never happened... Later 2009, I was pregnant... I was so happy! I called to tell my dad and his reaction, "Well I don't know why in the hell you would want to do that!!" WHAT? WHAT? WHAT!?!?!?! I said, "Really, that's what you have to say? Well, I just thought I would call to tell you. But I think I should go!!!" I hung up and that was it!!!! While I was in labor with L, my sister made the comment about Dad coming up to the hospital, I looked at everyone in the room, I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of it. This was supposed to be the happiest, most special time of my life and NO ONE was going to take that away, or make me feel sick to my stomach like that. It felt like 5 minutes went by, but no time went by at all when I looked at her and said, "I'm sorry, I don't know what you want to tell him. I know this puts you in a bad situation... But, he's not welcome here!" Baby number 2 came, it was all amazing! ... and his name never came up. Some of this may make me sound horrible... but there is so much more than I am including in here... 

I called him the summer of 2012 and said. I know some time has passed, but if you would like to meet them, I'm just kind of trying to do the right thing, so they can at least meet you. He said that he knows he hasn't been the best dad and that he hasn't made the best decisions but there wasn't anything he could do about that now... Then, He said it was too late! He didn't want to meet them. This didn't make me mad. I was pretty indifferent about it happening. I really didn't care make it happen, but I was totally trying! Trying to do the right thing. (I didn't say any of that... I was just thinking that) Then he proceeded to tell me that this was going to make me mad, but he made out his will and he wasn't leaving me anything. I was a bit taken back by the comment... what's the point in bringing it up, you know? He said people that don't have time for him, he doesn't make time for and he knows the decision he made was the right decision. I told him that I didn't need anything from him, that I've never asked him for anything! Pretty much my whole life I haven't wanted anything from him except for him to put effort into trying to have a relationship with me.... We hung up and that was it. 

This past Saturday morning my sister called me talking about how he almost died the night before, that he couldn't breathe. He was having a COPD exacerbation. My sister was pretty upset. I called my mom to see what all was going on, because my sister was pretty much talking funeral and things... but the things she was saying that was wrong with him, didn't sound like he was dying (she was just talking like he was)... While I was getting ready to go up to the hospital, I was talking to my husband. I was saying that I felt weird, because I knew that I should have felt sad... but I really didn't feel anything... I talked to my mom again while I was getting ready and I told her the same thing. I just haven't felt like I have a dad in such a long time... so many tears and emotions in the past... I just don't know how to explain it all. I was talking to my father in law on the way to the hospital and he put it all into words the best way I could ever think!! he said, all of those years, crying, emotions, and everything, I've already grieved losing my dad... Maybe?? It wasn't horrible up there. I felt indifferent when I left. I'm glad I went, in the sense of the that last conversation we had was awful!! 

Well last night was Wednesday, my sister really needed a break. When I asked if there was anything I could do, she asked if I would go up to the hospital and sit with him for awhile.... I went up there, he didn't know I was coming. He smiled so big, looked at the nurse that was in the room and said, "This is my other daughter, she's a nurse too, NOW I'M IN GOOD HANDS. You guys won't have to do anything for me for the rest of the night". I said I'm only going to be up here for a couple of hours. I laughed and told him he always calls me a nurse and I do Physical Therapy... He started telling the nurse, "Well, she's done everything, cruise ship, stewardess, everything!" I thought, he's proud of my. I may have gotten a bit of a fuzzy feeling!! This was a good start. I cleaned his dentures, put a new breathe right strip on his nose, fixed his bed, got him comfortable (his back had been hurting), got him up for a bit. Out of the blue he said to me, "I know you have babies at home, but I just don't know that I'm ever going to meet them. I'm too old and there's too many things wrong with me, I don't want to get attached to them or get them attached to me. I was so surprised by this comment, it just about made me cry... when he got up to go to the bathroom, a couple tears fell... I was surprised he acknowledged them/brought them up in conversation. I told him I had pictures with me in case he wanted to see them. He said he didn't think he did, that he knew it would pull at his heartstrings and he didn't want that. Different things happened, that conversation was over...he talked about he knew he wasn't a good person, that he wasn't perfect, he said that he needed more help than the devil. He said that he has to ask so many people for help now that he's sick and it bothers him because he doesn't ever help anyone else. I was surprised at everything he was saying... We laughed at things... this time reminded me of that one night I spent with him at the hospital a few years ago... he said something about my husband and that he seemed like a good man when he met him... a bit later, he wanted me to fix his pillow, I moved it the wrong way, he said something about me not paying attention or something... I told him he was mumbling, then he asked if he made me nervous. I said No, not really. I said, "There was a time when our conversations were so pleasant" ... he got so serious and said something about my mom that didn't make any sense. He said he doesn't remember any conversations that were bad. He doesn't know what I'm talking about.... He said I was lied to about something and that he knows that I know down in my heart that I wasn't, but I was and he knows there's nothing he can do about that. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. Everything that has always happened between us has stemmed from things he's said, he's done, or said he was going to do and never did!!! He said, and that's all I want to say about that. I said me too. and we were fine.... He asked me to fix the pillow by his feet... while I was doing that he says, "but the day is going to come when all of this is over that you're going to be really mad at me... well maybe you won't because you'll realize things are the way they are supposed to be... blah blah blah... he was talking about his will and him not leaving me anything AGAIN... WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD HE BRING THAT STUFF UP AFTER I SAT UP THERE WITH HIM FOR AT LEAST THREE HOURS... HELPING HIM, laughing with him, talking, etc... WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY????? I don't care to have anything... I don't care about him not leaving me anything... I just don't understand, why bring it up? We weren't talking about anything like that. Weren't talking about anything bad. That thing about being uncomfortable lasted less than 5 min (when he asked if he made me nervous), then it was over. I just don't get that man. My husband said, it's like he goes out of his way to upset me.. WHY?? I just don't understand. I left shortly after that. I cried all the way home. I came in my house, sat on my husband's lap and just cried and cried.

 SO DONE!! There's just no point!!

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