Thursday, June 16, 2011
30 Days of Truth - Day 14 - A hero that has let you down. (letter)
As an adult, I can now call you Dad without cringing. It is more because of hard work and forgiveness on my part. You are making small strides at being a decent person, son, brother, father, and grandfather. It wasn't always this way.
When I was really small, I have one memory of being in your physical presence. We were at a hotel and I was on the bed, still in diapers. You were there with your boxer, Roxy. My mom laid on the bed with me and I saw you walk out the door with the dog. I know that we were together on more occasions, but I only know because of other's accounts and pictures. Together they don't paint a pretty picture.
You painted your own picture for me, and it was a blank canvass starting when I was 2 years old. I realize now that it was probably better that way. You were living life in the fast lane, taking dangerous risks and moving from woman to woman. You forever tainted my mom's reputation with your family by stealing her away from your brother, the man she married when she was 16, and injecting her with poison, your poison adulterous seed, and the poison of a needle. One created life and one ended life. That is why today I sit here and my mother is forever gone. It is incredibly ironic to me that you like to tell the story of how I was conceived in the hearse that you provided as a place to stay for my mother.
There were so many times in my life that I wished your brother was really my dad. He is such a sweet, kind, and compassionate man; not like you. He went off to the service, hoping to make his new bride proud. He came home to your aftermath.
I remember talking to you on the phone a few times after you left for Texas, the big beautiful non reporting escape from your child support obligations. Then I guess phone calls were too much. I didn't hear from you for years, and then when I turned six, I got a card, signed from you and your new wife. Both me and my mom laughed at it and she put it away for me.
I learned that you were good at taking life away from people when my mother succumbed to the inner demons that began with her relationship with you. You didn't make it to her service. Later you told me that no one told you. I can see why no one thought you would care, but the truth is that you had made yourself invisible to avoid your obligations.
It is only because of my chance run-in with Grandma that I even knew you were back in Colorado. It broke my heart to know that you didn't even look for me. I lived in the same house that I did when you left, but you never came. You were playing house with yet another woman and she was pregnant with your child and you wanted to make it look like you had been a good Dad so you started having me over. I knew what you were up to. I also got to witness your abusiveness towards her and her children. Our relationship, like yours with her, was short lived.
Many years passed without me hearing from you. I often thought of my older sister, Maleia, and wanted to meet her. I was sure we shared some of the same feeling of abandonment. She, as you know, was only 2 years older than me. How sad for two sisters to never meet. That sad fate was sealed the day she took her own life.
It was only then that you began to question yourself, rightfully so. Unfortunately you turned to me for reassurance, something I could not give. I found it highly insulting that after years of being absent in my life, you would expect me to come to your rescue and save you from the feelings her death was causing you. In some ways I envied her, she had been released from her pain, and yet I had to face mine, and face you.
As we slowly got to know each other again, there was another piece to the puzzle. My little brother, your namesake. His mother's life was suffering on a reckless path and all of the adults around him, including you, seemed to be more concerned with drugs, alcohol, and sex than with his well being. I just want you to know how much I resent that you foiled my attempts to provide something better for him.
When my own life began to mirror some parts of yours, you chose to continue your pattern of neglect. You would drop off your leftovers from the food bank from time to time, but never were concerned with mine, or my children's well being. When social services got involved, and grandparents were sought out to care for my children in the interim, that idea was laughable at best.
Today we can be civil and we see each other at least once a week when you bring over a food bank box. You finally learned that my brother had to be some sort of priority to you, and I am glad that the two of you have a better relationship, but I resent that ours will probably never grow to that level.
It is hard to see you continuously reward his mistakes and bail him out of situation after situation, paying his rent, his phone, getting him to court, yet taking no responsibility for how his life got to be like that. Like father, like son? For his sake, I hope not.
For now, all I can do is forgive, hope you are a better grandparent than you were a parent, and be thankful for my food box.