I will warn you now that this will be the darkest blog I write. But, for me, the most necessary. I have spent most of my life, since about the age 16, I would generously say, without a dad. Like so many other children of the 70’s, my parents divorced when I was young. I spent most of my time in the early days on the two-week plan. I even got the welcome-to-the-children-of-divorce package – NEW LUGGAGE! Like that was going to make it all better. My brother and I went to my mom’s apartment for two weeks and then to my dad’s for two weeks. It was torture at first and then it became somewhat what I would call the “fucked up norm”. Until…it couldn’t be anymore….then it all hit the fan…
My dad met a buxom blond, named Cathy. Ironically, the same name as my dear Mother. One thing led to another and within a few weeks they lived together. A few weeks after that, married. I found out by phone. Seems like just a few short weeks later, their addictions began. We found out by finding their stash. When we told my mom, she presented it to the court system. We were no longer allowed to stay there. He must have been devastated because his response was “they are going to see this stuff on the street so who cares?” Yup! Should have known I was the offspring of the father of the year! Oddly, I had some visits with them. All were horrific. One in particular: Cathy holding a knife up to me behind my father’s back as if she was going to stab me while talking to me in a sweet voice so my father was none the wiser. Or my favorite nights were the ones where she would scratch on my bedroom door with her disgusting long nails to try to scare me after forcing us to watch scary movies. She was really the greatest! And to add to that, she was a coke head! I mean, what more could any young girl want? And please, keep in mind, these little snippets are such a little snapshot into a sad and scary world I spent while I was with them. Some of the things they did were beyond inhumane, some illegal. All I should have never had to witness. But, I did.
So, flash forward a few years. I have a big heart. I decided I will give these horrific people another chance. I am not sure why. I think really because I believe that everyone, no matter how awful, deserves another chance. Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, I am a stupid woman…or something like that. At this point, I had children. I thought maybe they would be better to my sons than they were to me. Although, I would be watching like a hawk and they would NEVER be alone with my kids. This would be their first chance to prove themselves to me and to the boys. They asked us to a church carnival. I have no money, ZERO. I was a single mom. I knew my sons, 3 and 5, would have a blast at the carnival. At first, I turned down my father’s offer because I did not have the money to go and he assured me it was their treat and the kids could ride rides and get treats and play games. STUPID STUPID ME! They brought us there! My dad and Cathy played games while we watched. They won the biggest elephant ever! All night I held back tears. Tyler’s eyes lit up knowing in his heart it would be his! Me knowing in my mind – it never would. Cathy walked up and said I can’t believe your dad won me this. And they left us sitting next to the duck pond and the cotton candy while they went to put it in their car (for 45 minutes – turns out they were riding rides without us), while I had to console my crying kids who wanted cotton candy and to play games without one penny in my pocket or a phone to call for someone to pick us up. They finally got cotton candy. And then we left. They never got the elephant. We left that night and I never brought my sons around those selfish monsters again. They continued to use drugs. That was not a world for me or my children to be around.
I think the next time I heard from my dad was when he found his wife dead in her bed. I can’t believe he actually called me to tell me, as if I would be sad. I don’t know the whole story. I believe she choked on her vomit. Do the math. I once again was the bigger person. I went with him to the funeral and consoled him as he cried for a woman I despised. A woman that made my heart ache. After those days were over, the distance was in place again.
I’ve mentioned to you that he doesn’t care for his own mother. Although he lies and says he does. Disturbing. A few years back, he actually called me to see if he could move in with me because he was homeless. I had just gotten out of the hospital from a three-week stay. He never even asked how I was.
Anyway, my point.
At Christmas this year, he sent me a text that this was his last Christmas; he had cancer and was dying. Mind you. he has been told of my illness multiple times and has never once asked about me. NEVER. I even offered to take him to a treatment. I think it was a lie because he never took me up on the offer.
Last night, he sent me a text. He told me he wanted to send my sons a card but didn’t know their names.
Didn’t know my son’s names.
Didn’t know my son’s names.
I repeated that sentence over and over in my head all night. And it haunted me. This person that has hurt me all these years – still hurts me. I am so insignificant in his life that he can’t even bother to know the names of the incredible, amazing people that I brought into this world. He can’t even bother to know their names! So I responded, and he is now dead to me.
This is my eulogy to my father who it still alive.
born 1948 ~died 2016
You died on a Saturday. It was a chilly, rainy day. Quite fitting. You leave behind a loving mother who gave you so much and you never appreciated her. You used her until there wasn’t a drop left of her to give and then you placed her into a home and forgot the address, never to return again for a visit or to even answer a call from the facility regarding her care.You had two children: A son, who hasn’t wanted anything to do with you in years because of the life you had shown him. You put him in situations that caused him to lose all respect for you. At times, you put your son’s own safety at risk for your own gain. Your daughter, she loved you the most. As a child, she idolized you. Always wanted to spend time with you. Always stood up for you to others. You had no time for her when Cathy came along and did not like the competition and you allowed her to kick me out of your life and your home. Lastly, and most importantly, three amazingly incredible grandchildren: Two grandsons that are intelligent, loyal, brave, honorable and respectable. All the traits a real man should be. You are none of those things, my father. A granddaughter who is more determined than anyone I’ve ever met, intelligent, motivated and will conquer the world one day. It is a shame that you died before having the opportunity to meet and appreciate all of these amazing people while you still had time. I guess I could say that you missed out on so much of these things on your own. You always felt like everyone else’s lives were better. I hope, in the end, the path you chose was fulfilling for you and made you happy. I speak for myself when I say that I have lived a wonderful life! I have an amazing husband, the two most incredible sons God could have ever blessed me with. A Godly mother that would give her life for me all wrapped up in a little house that I own. God has been good to me. And although I don’t know what will become of my health, the days God has given me have been wonderful and rich beyond words! God bless you. Sorry our paths did not cross more often. REST IN PEACE.
So, solemnly, I say today “Woohoo – my life is a F’n blog!”
Hugs and love to all!