Sunday, August 17, 2008

My dad.

Periodically, I'll click on people's profiles who leave comments and check out their blogs. I find lots of interesting things that way. I found a blogger by the name of Whitney, whose blog, My Journey Toward The Glamorous Life of a Housewife kinda reminds me of my own attempts here at housewifery lately. Anyway, she posted the following question on her blog:

If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive at any restaurant in the world...
- who would it be?
- where would you eat?
- what would you discuss/ask?

Here's something that I don't think I've blogged about before... my father.

If I could have dinner with one person dead or alive at any restaurant in the world it would be my father. My mom left him when I was three or four -like, grabbed the kids, left the state, shacked up with some other guy, and immediately got pregnant left him (she's pretty spiteful and vindictive) - and then he was killed when I was six, so I never really got to know him. My mom got a telegram (!!!) from my grandmother telling her what happened, and we had to fly back for the funeral, because technically, they were still married. She was a widow at 22.

I remember going to his viewing, but I wasn't allowed to stay. I was allowed to see him, lying in his casket, and I remember commenting that he just looked like he was sleeping. My mom let his parents and his sister see me and say hi, but then I had to go out and wait for it to be over in the parking lot with one of my aunts. The funeral was the next day. I remember them lowering his casket into the ground, and everyone getting up to toss a handful of dirt into the grave. I was so mad that my mom wouldn't let me do it too, but my cousin got to do it. I thought that was really unfair, since he was my dad and not his, after all.

My mother really talked bad about him, and for most of my life I believed everything she told me, because you just believe your mom, you know? She said he was a liar and a thief, and he beat her every day for no reason. She said that he didn't like us kids, and he wanted nothing to do with us. She said he got so mad at her for getting pregnant. I figured, as much as I would have loved to have had a dad in my life, I was better off not having one if the alternative was the monster that my mother told us about.

Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I have very little, if anything at all, to do with my mother these days. A few years ago, I had a class where a HUGE portion of my grade was dependent on turning in a family geneology. Of course, I couldn't really ask my mom, because God only knows what biased, skewed crap she'd hand me, but luckily I was able to get a hold of one of my aunts who could fill in some blanks for me. We had a really long talk over IM one night and I'm not sure how we got on the subject really, but she did more than just fill in some blanks.

It turns out that a lot of what my mom said about my father was just untrue. Yes, he did hit her, and that's never okay, but she explained why, and knowing my mother, and how she behaved with subsequent husbands (she was married four times by the time she was 35) and boyfriends, I could see how she provoked people and how it could happen. My aunt said he was never so happy as when he found out he was going to have children, and he loved us more than anything else. When they split up, he would sneak over to my aunt's house while she was babysitting us, because it was the only way he could see us. The only reason he didn't spend time with us was because my mom didn't let him!!! When she found out that my aunt was letting him see his kids, she no longer would allow my aunt to watch us.

Of course, hearing all of this just broke my heart. To think that I could have thought those terrible things about someone who had only just loved me. My father didn't hate us. He didn't wish we had never been born. He loved me and did what he could to get to see me despite my mother spitefully trying to keep him from us. He wasn't perfect, but no one is. He just never really had a chance.

So, if I could have dinner with him, where would I want to go? No brainer. I'd want to have him over to my home, so he could meet my husband and my dogs, and if the baby was born, his grandchild. I'd want him here so he could learn as much as possible about me and what he had missed for the past 28 years. What better place to learn about a person than in their own home? He could see my scrapbooks, taste my cooking, and get a better sense of me and who I am that way than he could in any restaurant. We could be comfortable, and take our time with each other and our conversation.

I'd ask him about what my brother and I were like when we were very little, and what his favorite memories of us were. I'd want to hear his version of events, how he met my mom, how things really were. I'd ask him about his childhood, and our family on his side, since I know nothing really about them. My mom did tell me that he and his family were bakers by trade in Mexico, so maybe I'd ask him to show me some things... how wonderful to get to bake bread with my dad.

I have to say, I got all teary thinking and writing about this. It's a very sad thing, because you know in your heart of hearts that it will never, ever happen and there is not a dang thing you can do about it. I'm really glad that I clicked that link and visited Whitney's blog, because he deserves to be remembered, and this needed to be written down. Thank you.

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Blogger glitzen said...

I love your open-hearted journaling. You are right, it deserves to be written down. I got teary too!


2:16 AM  
Blogger Sarah C. said...

Wow. I am teary eyed from reading it. So sorry you lost your dad at a young age and were told terrible lies. It's a shame people do that. :( I'm betting he's your guardian angel now and proud of the strong woman you've become. :) Thanks for sharing a bit of his story.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Tanya said...

I'm so sorry you didn't get to be with your dad more. What a truly touching post. HUGS to you! I really enjoy your blog!

6:52 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

I'm sorry, too, that you didn't get a chance to really know your dad. It makes me so sad when families do things like that to each other. We've got a lot of drama in my extended family, so I get where you are coming from even though I won't pretend to know how it feels to be in your shoes. I imagine that I would feel pretty ripped off though, and sad that it was too late to change anything. But at least you get a chance to make things different - better- for your own child. I think that's all any of us can really do.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Creative Junkie said...

OH, this is so sad! I'm sorry you didn't know your dad. :(

9:09 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

This is such a touching post! I'm so sorry you didn't get to know your dad. I'm glad you were able to get the truth out of your aunt and know that he really did care for you. I'm sure he's watching over you and your new family!

11:39 AM  
Blogger The Empty Envelope said...


And even though I was in a slightly different situation, being pregnant with my first made me miss my mom so much! She had passed a few years before then. I still really wish she could be here with us and spend time with them.

12:57 PM  
Blogger She Who Waits... said...

That was very touching. I wish so much you could have your wish. (((hugs)))

1:12 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm also teary eyed from reading this too. I'm glad that your aunt was able to give you the truth. ((hugs))

1:32 PM  
Blogger emily said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It makes me want to go to my parent's and give my dad a giant hug. I try so hard not to take for granted how very lucky I am to be able to see him whenever and to have two, present, loving parents. These things you wish you could have done with your dad are things you and your husband can share with your son. Like baking bread. Maybe that can become a tradition to honor your dad even though he can't be with you?

5:33 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

wow, what a story. It's amazing ow grown ups forget abouthow their actions affect their children. Thanks for the reminder of how important grown ups are in little people's lives.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah*Jane said...

Wow, what a beautiful story. I know the pain of loosing someone you never got to know. (I found out yesterday my grandfather had passed away. We were planning on meeting him for my birthday next year.) This was especially moving to me today. Thanks so much for opening up and sharing!

6:27 AM  
Blogger mademoisellechitchat said...

This is beautiful, Sarah. This is worth submitting to a magazine. Great writing!

7:59 PM  

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