Today I’m really struggling. I haven’t seen or spoken to my dad or his family in 20+ years. It’s been a tough situation for me, especially when I was 16 and my mom passed away from lung cancer. I had visits with my dad when I was younger and I remember them quite vividly. I remember never wanting to be with him, always faking sick or making myself sick so I could go home to my mom. He and I were just never really close and I never knew why.
All of a sudden he stopped coming to get me for visits. I would see him come down my street because his new girlfriend lived 4 houses away from us, but he never had the time to stop in and see me or say hi. I remember one day I was outside skipping and he drove down my street. I ran over to the drivers side he rolled down his window, talked to me for a few minutes and drove off into his girlfriends driveway and into her house. I remember just standing there so confused. I think I was about 6 or 7.
I would see my dad around town all the time as I got older. He lived a few streets away from a boyfriend I had from 15-17 and I remember when I got pregnant for Jordan I wrote my dad a note, I can’t remember for the life of me what I put in it but I know it wasn’t good, and my boyfriend took it over to his door. Knocked and handed it to his girlfriend… as I looked on from down the street.
It’s always been a tough thing for me. Family as a whole has always been tough for me. My family was never normal, or even close to normal. We had members not speaking, members hating each other and not wanting anything to do with each other. It was never very healthy. But my mom, was incredible to me. She may not have been with my siblings, I can’t remember anything they’ve dealt with or been through but my mom was my best friend.
I had 3 siblings but they were all much older than me and they were all from my moms first marriage, so different dads. They all had their lives and families by the time my mom had passed away. That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with, and not just because she died – but because I was literally left with no one. Her and I dealt with her dying before her actual passing. I knew it was coming, her and I talked about it a lot. She was at peace with it, and I knew she wouldn’t be suffering anymore. It was extremely hard, and still to this day I think about her daily. It’s tough. I wrote her a letter, I still have to this day. Apologizing for how rough I was on her — I was so very angry that she was sick.. I was so mad at her because she was sick. She was a heavy smoker for her entire life, and she got lung cancer. I was angry. I was 15/16 years old dealing with a lot and I was not nice to her. I was just glad by the end she knew I was sorry, and why I was acting the way I was.. she understood.
Once my mom passed away my dad was told shortly after, and I was told he would be in touch. He never was. I still saw him around town, and although I’m not 100% sure he ever saw me he never spoke to me if he did.
A few years ago I had someone call and tell me my dad was in the hospital he had internal bleeding. I didn’t know what to do with this information. I had just had baby #4 and just didn’t know. So my husband called him at the hospital to find out what was going on. He was nice, and genuine to my husband. My husband informed him he was a grandfather to 4 children… he had no idea. He told my husband he was ok, would be getting out of the hospital soon. That was that. I was relieved, and didn’t think of it again.
Last night I got a message from his sister, my Aunt who when I was a kid I looked up to tremendously but who I also haven’t seen in 20+ years, but recently came into contact with her on facebook and her 2 daughters my cousins who once upon a time ago I feel I was pretty close with. She had some news for me, and wanted to tell me on the phone not online – I had to get up the courage to give her my phone number and of course when she called, I burst into tears. It’s A LOT to take in. A LOT.
She informed me my dad is ill, he has cancer. Inoperable cancer.
When I got off the phone with her I felt peace. I felt like no time has past and she had been in my life, my whole life. She was super sweet, and super easy to talk to. I was still angry with my dad, and I didn’t feel any different towards him even given this new information. I went to bed, tossing and turning still angry. Replaying all the things that have gone on over and over in my head…. But then, today? I woke up. Feeling confused, and really struggling with feelings. There is so much, SO much I need to say to my dad. I am so angry, and hurt by living my whole life being unwanted by my dad but also never knowing why. WHY would anyone just walk away from their only daughter. What had I done? I realized once I grew up that it wasn’t my fault, it was all on him. But there is still a lot of unanswered questions I have, and a lot I would have to say.
But the reality is, he has cancer. He is sick. Do I care? Of course, but am I sad about it? Not in the least. I’m angry. So, so very angry. I’m left now struggling with my own feelings and what if’s. I’m not really sure how I feel. I do know I’m so sad for the little girl standing on the side of the road holding her skipping rope wondering why her dad doesn’t want to visit with her instead of his girlfriend…
I’m really, struggling….