I am not sure why I am writing this post and it may be something I take down in a few days. But just maybe someone else will relate, maybe someone else has walked this road.
My Dad died a little over two years ago. My Dad had never spent a night in the hospital until he was 80. My Dad was a very successful business man that was able to retire at 40 and spend the next 40 years following his race horses. He was a very honorable man. Honest and fair were his business trademarks. My Dad was a complicated man. He came from the generation that showing emotion was a sign of weakness. He was very strong in that area. My Dad was always right and always in control. I know lots of facts about him, I just did not really know him. I never heard my Dad pray. I never heard my Dad say "I love you"!
My Dad was diagnosed with cancer on a sad July day a few summers ago and he died a horrible death the following April. He lived 9 months. Nine long months with treatment that was inhumane. He begged me on several occasions to help him die.
My Dad never had a hair out of place (so the picture will show you what cancer did to him). He had no experience with the medical community. He had no idea how to be his own advocate and when I tried to be, he became so angry with me. He was mad at the world.
He totally lost control of his life. And control was the ONE thing that he had for 80 years. Those nine months were some of the hardest of my life. I have never seen a human suffer like he did.
Our relationship was one of the harder things in my life, to put it mildly. I am the oldest of three girls and there is not a doubt in my mind that he liked me least.
I understand that to a degree...I would never let him control me.
But oh how I wanted him to LOVE me, how I wanted his approval. I just plain old wanted him to be proud of me. Occasionally, I would sense that I had made his approval list. I gave him his first grandson and his namesake. I also gave him his only granddaughter. I know he loved them. I have always been a hard worker and I would sense at times that made him proud. He never said it, I just HOPED it. My boy gave the eulogy at his funeral and no boy has ever done a better job. I remember just whispering to myself, "Daddy, I hope that made you proud!" Even as an adult it was a constant longing to know he thought I had worth.
Like I said, it was just complicated at best.
I did see him soften his heart in the last months of his life. I was able to spend nights with him in the hospital near the end, where I really shared my heart with him, but I don't know what people in coma's really hear. I pray that he heard my heart. I pray that he knew that I really did love him. I guess I will always wonder if he really loved me.
Happy Birthday Daddy!
Parker with my Mom and Dad as we celebrated Christmas in a nursing home a few months before he died. He no longer even knew our names.
I don't want to leave this post on a sad note. I married a different kind of man many years ago. Never for one second, have my kids nor have I, not known that their Dad loved us more than life. He is the proudest man I know of his wife and kids and double proud of his grandkids. He shows us and tells us many, many times each day. He is the best.