Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fathers and Sons.

I lost my dad two years ago yesterday.

Honestly, I didn't remember until my sister called to ask if I wanted to join her, my mom, and the other siblings who could make it, at the cemetery. They brought flowers, the grandchildren brought envelopes with pictures and letters, and I brought a 20 ounce caffeine free Diet Coke -- his beverage of choice. I opened it and "poured a forty" to his memory "gansta" style. That seemed to lighten what was a solemn mood, and soon we were laughing about the times he wasn't busy being a hard-ass.

It seems impossible its been two years.

My mother called me that morning in a panic. It was around 6 AM. She had just found her husband half out of bed, bleeding from the nose, and mumbling. She was terrified, and could only think to call me. I told her to go back to dad's side, and be ready to let in the paramedics. I called 911, and then rushed over to assess the scene. Even with prompt medical care he didn't last long. A massive stroke took him without warning -- shocking because I had just had dinner with him the evening before. He was in good spirits, despite a headache he mentioned in passing.

I'm grateful he and I were at least on speaking terms. We had a complicated relationship for a long time (to say the least), and had just begun to defrost the chill that had developed between us. He never knew about my my sexual identity troubles, but he easily found other reasons to be disappointed in me. I made great efforts to keep my life out of his line of sight, but he knew something was amiss. For my part, I held deep seated resentment toward him over issues from childhood. My other brothers and sisters eventually found ways to forgive him his mistakes. I was the lone holdout with problems letting go.

Things were far from healed berween us two years ago when he passed, but it comforts me to know we were making efforts. We shared his last meal together, and had a great time watching one of his favorite Bond films. When I left he actually hugged me and told me to drive carefully.

I don't believe we said I love you to each other that last visit, but I do remember feeling love for him, and from him.

I think... I hope he felt the same.


Beck said...

My dad died two years ago as well... rather suddenly... similar kind of relationship, though we were on good terms in the end.

Don't know what to say other than I relate with the feelings of your post. I do feel it is significant that you were trying to work things out with him, and though the word wasn't spoken, love was communicated.

ControllerOne said...

Curiously enough, since the death of my mom now 8 years ago, I have grown more distant with my father. But, my brothers and I have been trying with him more, motivated by the death of my sister this last Spring. Her loss leaves only boys in the family, and 1/3 of us is gone. I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your thoughts. It reminds me that I need to keep working on my feelings for my dad. Because you just never know do you?