Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My daddy died

What a bummer of a night. I just found out my dad died and I don't even know when it happened.

I don't know if you all remember me talking about finding my father about four years ago. I had a cousin on my father's side of the family contact me after doing a family tree sort of thing. He had found me online and wanted to let me know he knew where my father was.

Yes, it was quite a shock, but this was something I've always wanted to know. As the story went, he left me when I was just born and according to my mother's side of the family, he was no good and I was brainwashed into thinking he was the scum of the earth.

All my life, I grew up without a daddy. I don't know if you know how that feels but it hurts.

So this cousin finds me and starts telling me about family members I didn't know I had - aunts, uncles, cousins. Then, his wife's mother (who ended up being my Aunt Carmen) finds out they've located me and calls me on the telephone, wanting to meet me.

So I drive to Wachapreague (where she lived) and find out all I could ever know about my father and the family I was deprived of seeing simply because the two families couldn't stand one another.

It's been a long time it seems since that day I sat and chatted with Aunt Carmen. Then, tonight, I get an email from yet another cousin (by marriage) who tells me he has died. She didn't email me really to tell me that, but it was something that she remembered in her childhood that might be of some importance to me now.

She told me that when my dad and she and the other kids I suppose were sitting there watching The Wizard of Oz, he got visibly upset. When they asked him what was wrong, he said he couldn't talk about it. And she was thinking he was thinking...of me.

I have been boohooing on the deck all night long. See, the thing is, I found my father, Carmen sent me a couple of pictures of him so at least I could see what he looked like, but...I never got to meet him. I tried, well Carmen tried in my behalf, and his wife wouldn't let him see me. She said he was in too bad health for that to happen and I suppose she thought he couldn't take the stress from it.

But...I can imagine it happening. I can imagine sitting by the side of his bed and looking at the eyes that looks like my own and saying, "Hi Daddy."

Okay, so I live in a dream world.

It didn't happen and that's the way it goes.

But I do want to say something. A child, no matter what feelings the parents or the parents' families have for one another, has the right to know both their mother and their father and to deny that child that right is child abuse in the highest form.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Dorothy,

    I'm so sorry to hear not only of your Dad's passing, but that you didn't get to meet him face to face. I truly pray that God's peace will be with you at this time, and that someone, somewhere, in the same situation will hear the truth of your final sentence and reconsider their actions.

    Cate

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  2. Excellent post Dorothy, on a very touchy subject for many. Like you, I never knew my Dad either as he died when I was less than 3 weeks old. But I always wanted to know more about him other than just what he looked like. I wanted people who had known him to tell me what he was like, what kind of disposition and personality he had, what his likes and dislikes were and all I got for many years were occasional photos and the comment that he was just a wonderful man. That's all well and good but it didn't help me to learn who I am, inside, that is like his part of me. My condolences to you on never having been able to go see him and sit with him, face to face as a grown-up. And you're so right that depriving a child of that knowledge is indeed, child abuse.

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  3. Thank you, Jeni. I just wish people wouldn't be so self-centered that they could realize what certain things mean to people. A phone call from him would have been better than complete silence.

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  4. Thank you, Cate...this really means a lot to me. ;o)

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  5. Hi, Dorothy....

    Oh my gosh, this post was so touching and I'm really sorry for your losses - ALL of them. Big hugs!

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  6. Dorothy -

    How sad! My mother is in a similar position (not sure if her mother is alive or not, where she lives or is buried). I cannot imagine what it would be like to find him and lose him without that meeting.

    Then, the bullish part of this redhead says he had plenty of opportunities to find you, and he did not do it. It isn't just all on YOU.

    It's too bad he sad on his toes and allowed others to decide for him whether to see you or not. He missed out on a terrific daughter and friend.

    You cry your eyes out, eat some chocolate, then go hug someone you love. Then you pick up those bootstraps and embrace those you love in the way that you always wanted from him.

    You take care of yourself. I'll send up a prayer for you!

    Angela

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  7. I remember your series of blog posts about him from a few years ago. I also wish you'd had the chance to meet him in person but I'm also very glad that the one Aunt came forward. I hope that you and she, as well as her children, will stay in touch. I find as I get older that I feel closer to my kin and, unfortunately, some of them who are even in my age range have died. That is a real eye opener.

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  8. That's so very sad. I'm sorry.

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