This is my dad. He’s 70 years old now. Despite everything that happened when I was young, I have forgiven him. He told me that he will go to his grave, forever being sorry for what he’s done to us kids. He believed my mother when she’d call him home from work, screaming at him that she couldn’t handle these kids and that they needed to be punished. As I mentioned before in THIS post, Mom did this, feeling justified because she wanted him to wear himself out beating us so that he wouldn’t have the energy to hurt her. I blame my mother for most of what happened to us because she never took drugs and never drank alcohol. He did. Not that that’s an excuse but she was in control of her own mind. He always told us that “the devil in the bottle” controlled his mind. She’d lie to him and tell him that my brother, now deceased, and I did horrible things. Most of the time, we didn’t know what she was talking about because we were locked in our room and COULDN’T do the things she accused us of. My baby brother would usually be the guilty party but Mom DID have natural love for him and never wanted Dad to hurt him. In her mind, it was okay to have dad hurt J and I because we were 3 and 4 years older than Keith and she felt we could handle the blows from this huge man, who was our father. When Mom looked at us, she saw the face of my father and she couldn’t love us. Keith looks like her and was always a beautiful child. She would do her best to protect him.
MUCH time has past and through many rocky years, I’ve always known my dad loved me. He was the only one to ever show affection, pride and natural love. He did this in his down time when he would be trying hard not to drink and do drugs. He stopped MOST drugs and cut out ALL alcohol when my brother was killed. It crushed Dad and he has never been the same. He loved my brother so much and didn’t realize how he was hurting us both until the day J died. He’s shown open and anguishing grief. Mom, if she ever grieved, didn’t show it. It looked as if she were going to the funeral of a stranger. I have forgiven my dad because he allowed us to see his human side.
He’ll never be perfect and I don’t expect him to be. I love him through his faults and his triumphs. That’s the way it should be. It’s not to say that I don’t still have nightmares and don’t have to work through the events of my past. I do. BUT, it helps because I have at least one parent who admits wrong doing and I know he’d take it all back if he could.
Right now, I’m on my way to get him to bring him to the hospital for surgery tomorrow. His aortic valve is closing and he’s in very bad shape. He needs open heart surgery but the Veteran’s Hospital needs to put him on a waiting list to receive the surgery where they won’t have to break his rib cage. Apparently, they can do open heart surgery by going through the groin like they do with angioplastic surgery now. Who knew?
Anyway, I’m afraid to lose this man. Besides my younger brother, he’s the only link to my past and the only one who truly knows me. It’s so scary to lose your parents. I wouldn’t even want to lose mom. It makes me sick thinking about it. It’s a whole new world knowing that there aren’t parents left anymore and WE become the adults.
I know he may sound like a monster to many of you but I’m asking that you’ll keep him in your prayers anyway. Despite all, he’s still my daddy.
I’ll be gone for 4 days, waiting with my stepmother at the VA hospital 3 hours away. Oddly enough, I can’t get internet connection inside the hospital. I won’t be able to follow all of you and know what’s going on with you after I leave the hotel room tomorrow morning. Just know that you’re all in my thoughts and prayers and I’m thinking of you!