Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Letting go and being thankful

Growing up I always felt like I had the best Dad in the world. This is because he made me feel loved, always. He called me his little buddy and always told me he loved me more than anything. My dad told me I could be anything I put my mind to, my dad told me he was proud of me, my dad told me he would do anything for me. I truly felt special because of my father's love.

People on the outside saw a different man, my dad is an alcoholic, my dad has been in and out of jail, my dad has lost a lot of jobs and spent a lot of time unemployed. My dad has picked up and moved from state to state. My dad has lived under different aliases

The last time I saw my dad was about 3 years ago for about 15 mins. He was passing through town and needed some money. Before that it was about 5 years ago that we spent the day together and I got to introduce him to my husband and his grandson. When we talk on the phone he ends the conversation quickly. I don't blame him because the conversations are awkward and strained. It is truly like two strangers talking.

I have spent the last 8 or 9 years angry and hurt over this. I questioned how he could just not care to participate in my life. Why he didn't want to be a part of his grand children's lives. I have cried over missing him, felt guilty about not trying harder, guilty about moving on.

Last night I was laying in bed thinking about all this. I was upset and crying but then something came to me and I thought about it differently. I am who I am today because of him. I had his love and his confidence that enabled me to go on with my life and achieve what I have. So instead of focusing on what I don't have from him now i need to focus on what I took away from him then. I am thankful I knew a father's love. I am thankful that he instilled morals and values in me. I am thankful that I was his little buddy. I am thankful he taught me right from wrong.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am going to call him and tell him exactly that. It is probably something he would love to hear. I think maybe he don't feel good enough and a little ashamed of his life choices. Maybe he needs to know he did a great job and I am proud to be his daughter. Maybe it took me a long time to realize that.


jodifur said...

What a lovely post. I'm glad you were able to make peace with your relationship with your father.

tardevil said...

First time over...just thought I should tell you not to give up on him. My uncle (he's 61) has been an alcoholic & smoker for my entire life (I'm 42). Recently, he was hospitalized & thought he might die. He gave up smoking and drinking cold turkey. I never thought I'd live to see the day. I don't live near him anymore, but they say he looks like a totally different person (alive again!). One of my best friend's dad is like yours. He lives in the same town as she does & she hasn't seen him in years. He, apparently, wants no relationship w/ her kids. As I've told her, you can't blame yourself. They're not in this situation b/c of you or her or anything you've done. They've got to pull themselves out of it. It's not fair & such a shame to waste their lives like that, but it's there choice, not yours. It's just a shame you and your family have to suffer the consequences.