Saturday, September 1, 2012

I will miss you, Dad

I have talked about my dad here in the past.  He was an alcoholic my whole childhood.  I am a lot like him - outgoing, social, fun.  It made my childhood pretty difficult - moving all the time because he wanted to make a new start.  I went to seven elementary schools and did not have a lot of stability.  He would always make all these promises to us and my mom that it would be different in this new town. We were always at poverty level because he "drank" all of our money.

He was loving, caring, fun and compassionate when he wasn't drinking.  He was fun, active, and hilarious when he started drinking-the life of the party.  But, he was the fall down, drive drunk, argument starting kind of person when drunk.  My mom took her three girls and left him when I was 10.  I was the oldest, so of course I grew up very fast and tried to always be perfect so I could make things better for my mom.  Many times I felt like the mother of my sisters, trying to make sure the laundry got done, the house got cleaned, etc.  They never listened to me and my relationship with them was very strained for a long time.

I was angry at him for a long time.  How could he just let us go, not care, not have contact?  We were his daughters. He was supposed to love us.  How could he care more about drinking than me?  It created this dark hole in my heart that I just tried to ignore and push away for a long time.

When I got pregnant with my daughter at age 28, I decided to call him.  Maybe he would want to be part of her life.  When I finally got up the guts after all this time to tell him the great news and allow him back in my heart, he was drunk. I was devastated.

He had periods (over the past 35 years) of sobriety where he would be an addictions counselor, which I am sure he was pretty good at, to living basically on the streets with a very serious and dangerous binge going on.  He got married a second time to another recovering alcoholic.  One day they decided to ignore their antibuse, drink and she seriously injured herself with a self inflicted wound.   His third wife was nice, I still talk to her.  I had an altercation with his fourth wife a few years ago.  He was having surgery and she totally bitched me out about not being there for him.  I was so angry!  I told her, "How dare you! You have no idea!  Don't call me again!"

A few years ago I reached out and made contact again.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I was struggling with my own addictions and issues and felt a connection to him.  Maybe because I just missed him and wanted things to be better.  We had a few really long and heart felt conversation.  I got everything off my chest.  I told him how angry I was about what he did to my childhood, that he basically ruined the first ten years of my life and then left a gaping whole for the last 30 because he never chose to apologize or be part of my life.  He just left, moved away, lived his life without his kids.  That was just so hard for me to comprehend.  And it hurt me deeply.  He listened and sort of said sorry.  He seemed kind of aloof.  I think he kind of had that, "I can't dwell on the mistakes of my past and remain in sobriety" way of thinking.  But I was his daughter. He should be able to do that for me. It wasn't the reuniting I had envisioned, but I was glad to be talking to him.  Over the next few years I talked to him a few times, and he sent cards for birthdays and holidays.

Last Sunday, I got a call that he had passed away in his sleep.  He was 66 years old. I was devastated.  I don't think he had been drinking for a few years, but I have no idea.  He lived in a different state and I didn't talk to him that much.  According to his wife he wasn't, and they are doing an autopsy to find out why he died.

I am grief stricken.  No matter what had happened in the past.  He was my dad and I loved him.  I always felt that him and I had this unseen bond that connected us together.  I miss him so much.  It seems so silly to miss something you never really had, but I miss what never was...what should have been.  I wish so desperately that things could have been different.  I wish that I could have talked to him one last time to tell him that I forgive him, and that I love him.  I hope that he didn't die sad and alone.  I wish i could have been there for him.  No matter what anyone says, he is my dad, and will be forever.

Dear Dad,

If you can hear me, I love you so much and I miss you desperately.  Even though we hardly ever talked, I always knew you where there and that you did love me.  It feels so empty without you on this planet anymore. I forgive you for everything, and I hope you are finally free from all of your struggles, addictions and pain.  I do believe in heaven, and I do believe I will have that reuniting that I needed so badly.  Someday I will see you again and you will once again be the dad I always needed you to be.  I will love you and miss you always.

Your Daughter


  1. k,
    I'm so, so sorry. I know that right now there is a big hole in your life and you wish you had happy memories to fill it up, I wish that for you too.

    Just remember it is not your fault that the reunion you deserved, never happened. Alcohol causes severe wounds, and some people never fully recover and become themselves again, or else they feel they can ever make amends for all the hurt they cause and convince themselves that it is better for everyone involved to distance themselves. Sometimes they are just so damn afraid and ashamed.

    Talk to your dad, k, tell him you are trying to forgive him, tell him everything you always wanted to tell him. He can hear you now and maybe only now, can he be the father you need him to be.
    Love you,

  2. what a touching post in the midst of such sadness. take good care of yourself now. you need lots of TLC and cake and sleep. Hugs to you from cyberworld.

  3. Hi there, just thought I'd check in to see how you're doing. :)

  4. Hey you, we're worried but I know right now this blog may not be your first concern, just drop us a word and let us know you're ok, ok?

  5. Im so sorry to have just read this and to have not said anything sooner. I lost my Dad in 2000 to lung cancer and my mom last year to everything under the sun. Nothing will challenge you like death will. I hope you are healing ok.