For some reason my Dad has been on my mind a lot lately. He passed on October 31, 2000. So much about his death is still so confusing inside me. I was in college about 700 miles away at the time, and of course, I feel guilty that I didn’t really get to talk to him in those last days. I also feel bad that I wasn’t there for my Mom–God only knows the horror she was going through. My dad had premature Alzheimer’s and PTSD that stemmed from his 3 tours in the Vietnam War.
At the point that he got really sick, he did not even know my Mom at all. Luckily, they lived right near my Grandmother. He was back and forth over to her house, telling her about kids at school and other events from his childhood. He came to her for everything. My poor Mother.
It’s weird for me to feel pity for my Father because for so many years I hated him. Growing up he was so cruel to me for being overweight. I was the butt of all the jokes and to top it all off, nothing I did was good enough. He had a “walking on eggshells” temper that made me insane. It was not fair that we had to cater to his every mood while our feelings were smothered. I used to pray to God that they would divorce.
I’m certain that my issues with men stem from my relationship with my Dad. I’m never completely comfortable with myself in the company of men. It’s getting easier with my DH, but I can still catch myself torn in this weird dichotomy of trying to make him proud and standing up to him at the same time. The funny thing is, my DH never really gives me any reason to stand up to him, so I have to create them. I’m sure you can guess that this creates quite a situation for us. I’m working on it, though.
The whole point of this post was to consider why my Dad has been on my mind. Could it be that Father’s Day is coming up? I haven’t even really given the upcoming holiday a thought, but his memory is still cropping up a lot recently. I never really remember the bad times, though. My mind is centered around this hard-ass, motorcycle riding, pony tail-wearing troubled soul who turned into a man who was reliving third grade.
One time he walked out of the house and lost his way home because the neighborhood had changed so much. Sentences were so hard for him to form. He quit eating the foods he liked and began eating and drinking things that he never cared for–like orange juice. I know– big deal. But it is. The thought of it hurts me. He also stopped eating dressing on his salad. I don’t know what it is about this concept that really bothers me. Naked salad? Not my Dad! Of course, things got a lot worse for him and my Mom, but these things keep coming up in my mind.
Man, I’m rambling about this. I don’t have an answer or an epiphany about my Dad. I just wish I could have done something to help.