About my Dad...

I've read what many of you have said, and a lot of them rang true and reminded me of my own dad, especially Scott's.

My father died the day before my birthday this past October. I had always had an extremely difficult relationship with him as I was never allowed to express how I felt, or reveal the fact that all of my beliefs were totally different from his. Growing up, to do so always meant a huge screaming fit, usually that he would take out on my mother after we were all in bed! My dominant feeling towards him was smoldering hate and fear, punctuated occasionally by moments of unexpected hope and love on rare occasions when he could be agreeable or share a joke or story with me. Very confusing. I suppose we all want a parent's love in spite of it all . .

Anyway, before he died, I had wanted to talk to him heart to heart for the first time in my life. I was afraid he would laugh at me, but I wanted to tell him ,somehow, how much he had damaged me and try to make him understand that I wasn't telling him to punish him, but to make him understand that even though we were father and daughter, I really didn't believe that he loved me or even cared about me. I suppose I was gearing up the courage to just ask him and gauge his reaction. I'd told him I loved him and he never responded once before, when he was sick.

About 3 days before I could have this talk, he died suddenly of a hemorrhage related to his throat cancer. My mom called me at 4:30 in the morning panicked, and I rushed over to find him in a pool of blood.

The concern I felt for my family's reaction to all this (and of course all of the rituals that follow a death) distracted me from the intense pain I first felt upon realizing that I never had this talk and would never be able to have it again; but sometimes I wonder where this leaves me in my own forgiveness process.

I picked out Jill's message to respond to because a wise friend advised me that, as I had suspected, maybe he really was incapable of love. He just did the best he could, and it didn't have to do with me. Some people just have their limitations. He raised his kids as some people tend to a business. And we made it, each in our own way. So . . . . .

? (an ongoing thought process)

© copyright, 1999, Christina McFadden
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