Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On My Mind

Do you ever mentally write a blog post???
I've been writing one in my mind for about a month now.
Haven't had the nerve to actually "put it out there".
But it's not going away....I think I just need to document this.
I think it's funny that we (as bloggers) will open our hearts and write personal things and throw it out for all the world to see.....why do we do that??? I think for me, it's easier to write what I feel than to say it out loud. And they aren't always conversations I would strike up with a friend.

This time of year used to be really hard for me....but as time has gone by I have kind of let it go, forgotten if you may. It's Father Day that kills me. (silly, I feel nervous just writing this now....such a painful subject for me).

Eleven years ago, this month...my 5 brothers and I buried our father. A spouse didn't bury him, his children did. I rarely talk about it, almost never actually. My oldest brother reminded me this year, he texted me on the day. He will never get over it, it almost killed him more than any of us I think. All 5 of them met Doug and I at the airport when we flew in from Texas less than 24 hours after the fact. I loved them for that.

I used to have the greatest dad ever. He loved us so much. Then I don't know what happened. He left my mom (we were mostly grown by then) and he remarried a woman that changed him. He left us all. She isolated him, she didn't like us and wanted nothing to do with any of us. She pretended when she had to, but I saw the change in my dad. He wasn't the person I knew. Our relationship became very strained. I hardly ever saw him. It seemed like he had to sneak away for a quick visit when I had my first baby, like he wasn't allowed or something. He was not the grandfather I knew he could be. Then we moved out of state. During that time he separated from his wife and moved back to the town everyone lived in.

I was so happy! We all were. I felt like I would get my dad back. That we would have a new start, that we could repair the relationship. He jumped right in to doing things with his boys again, they had just gone fishing (or hunting??). I was going to tell him we were expecting our second child.....

And then he was gone. He left us again, he chose to leave us....again. I'm still so angry at him. I feel so betrayed and I will never understand. I can't even go to his grave site. I've been only once or twice. It's funny, I'm so weak in areas I didn't expect to be. It surprises me that I can't go there. I would rather not think about it.

Every once in a while I will see him....a man at the grocery store, a grandpa at the park...I hear his songs on the radio, in a store. I admittedly am so jealous of those who have a father...that they are close to.

I honestly don't know why I'm sharing this. I think sometimes I just want to acknowledge the fact that I had a father. That he existed. That I learned so much from him and that I love him. Despite everything that happened, I love him and miss having him in my life so much.

One thing my brothers and I have always been able to do is laugh at the memories...reminisce about our childhood and the things our father did and said. He was a bit of a cowboy, would threaten us with the long arm of the law! Loved his country music and his guitar... and we all love country music too. Had his cowboy hat and boots, and Farah Fawcett t-shirt! He gave us a great childhood...we have lots of good memories and it's those memories that carry me. Not the last 6 years of his life, but everything before that.

I need to get better at telling my kids about him. They know he's gone, but I don't talk about him. I just can't without crying and I don't want them to see that. But maybe, if I talk about him more it will get easier. It's been 11 years, you'd think it would be easier.

I'm going to hurry and hit publish, before I chicken out again and hold onto this post even longer!


Kathy Jo said...

Has it been 11 years?? Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It reminded me that my blog is more of a diary for my family and I need to share more here for them to have. And I think you should tell your children about your dad and even let them see you sad. Let them help comfort you. It will bond your family even more.

Linde said...

Oh Carol! I knew he was gone but I didn't KNOW. Thanks for sharing. I can't imagine how you feel now or how you have felt for so long. I know he would be so proud of you. Someday you will have your dad back and so until then I say hold on to those wonderful memories.

slingwall said...

I am so glad that you wrote this. It feels to me like no one will talk about him. When we do go to the grave it is a very big ordeal. Matt cannot get over it and still cannot make sense of it. It would be good for you guys to talk more about it. I know that he feels very robbed in life of that father and grandfather for his kids. He goes to my Dad for everything that he should be able to go to his Dad for. It is something that I am not sure that we have handled very well. I will never know how deep his pain is until I loose my Dad. So it is very hard to know how to help. I loved your Dad and cherish the few moments that we had with him in life. Life can be too short and he reminds us all the time to live life to the fullest. When you feel like this give Matt a call it would be good for both of you. Love you!!!!

Kirsten said...

I'm glad you shared. I hope it makes you feel a little better to have it off your chest. Hopefully, you can look back and read this often, and start to heal a little. Some wounds never heal all the way, though. Love ya!

Heather said...

I'm proud of you for sharing. That was very brave. I had no idea. I always sensed that it was something that you weren't willing to share because you had often mentioned he has passed but never any other details. I never wanted to pry, because it wasn't my business.
The whole thing makes me sad for all of you. You'll probably never know the whys, but you're lucky that you do have good memories of him that helped you be the person you are today. It hurts the most when the ones we love the most hurt us. No matter what was going on with him, he loved you, I'm sure of it.

Stephanie said...

I miss my dad too. I am feel your pain. We have something in comon. We both lost our fathers when the kids were really young. You had Nate and I had Becky, and Brandon was a baby. You had just told us you were expecting # 2. Father's Day is really had for me too. I try to make it special for my husband because he is a father too. It is just hard to let some things go. I still dream that he is alive and then I wake up to the reality that he is gone. I am thanful for the gospel to know that I can see him again somday and you can see your father again too.

Sherri said...

Wow, what a hard thing to have to share. I am so sorry that your dad chose to leave you. I don't think we ever get over losing a parent. I can relate. My mother died 10 years ago (at Christmas, an ocean away from me). My father and I have always had a very strained relationship that only got worse when my mom died. Now, I have no one. My dad is still around, but has nothing to do with me or my family (he only lives 20 minutes away from us). Only my oldest dd remembers him, the younger two don't know who he is. I still grieve the fact that I have no one. I feel like an orphan, even though he's still around. I don't think about it often, but when I do the tears aren't usually far behind. So, believe me, I feel your pain. Thanks for trusting us with this part of your story. May you feel more at peace with it, now that you've opened up about it.

Cammie said...

Hi Carol. I just want you to know that I have been thinking of you. What a difficult memory you have shared. I know this must be painful to think about and share. I agree with your friend, Kathy Jo, in that sharing your dad with your kids and allowing them to see you sad will bring you closer. I have seen that this past summer. It is amazing how comforting the simple words of a child are.

And I love what your friend Linde said-- "I know he would be so proud of you. Someday you will have your dad back and so until then I say hold on to those wonderful memories." What a beautiful way to keep hope and remember that lives are not over when we think they are.

I have a family member who decided to take his own life too. I was talking about it with a Professor at school and he was a former dance therapist. He wanted me to know that people who do this are severely depressed and in pain-- more that most can understand. This was very helpful to me because of the common claim that those who take their own lives are selfish. I don't believe it is that simple.

Yes, your dad loves you. I'm sure of it too. I know he is proud of you right now. And when you see him again you will be able to have the conversations you have missed having.

I love you, Carol.

Jason & Claire said...

I'm glad you shared and didn't chicken out. It is funny how we can write things on our blog that we could never go up and tell our friends.

I'm so sorry things ended that way with him. It's so good that you have so many good memories with him and those memories help you to know who he really was, not just his actions for the last few years of his life. Hopefully letting your kids know the grandpa you knew he could be will start to heal some of the wounds. I'm sure he would've wanted that and for you to know he loves you.

Jess said...

Thank you for sharing! I'm so sorry that you had to go through such heartache. Hold on to those good memories. You are such an amazing and talented person! Your dad has to be so proud of you.

Leslie said...

Carol, I feel horrible that I've been so wrapped up in my own writing that I didn't make the time to see yours. I love this entry and one day, you will, too. I think writing can be so cathartic, especially on subjects like this! It's okay to be feel angry at how he left you, it's okay to still not talk about it without crying, it's not okay to forget and I think you know all that. I was profoundly affected by this blog entry and I think partly because, I too, have lost a father, and also, I think about how much my friend is changing because of her new husband...makes me scared for her children and you exactly touched on what I have feared for all of them. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Love you.