i have no idea where to start this so i'll start at the very beginning. my mom married ron when i was 3. he's not my biological father, he's another story that doesn't need to be told. but he is the only father that i've ever known and ever will. when i was 6 he officially adopted me and i became his 'legal' daughter. the thing is this...i was his daughter from the beginning. i never remember feeling anything but love from him. i was excited to see him driving up the drive and he was excited to see me.
my childhood was a turbulent one. my parents were divorced and remarried several times and it wasn't the good kind of divorce where everyone comes out in the end still civil to one another. i met my dad's divorce attorney's secretary when i was older and when i told her who my dad was she nearly fell over in her chair and swallowed her tongue...that's how unpretty these proceedings were. i don't know if she ever quite believed that he was my dad. that's a good thing. but again all of that is a story that doesn't need to be told.
the thing about this time is this...he never missed a child support payment, he never missed a weekend or holiday unless he was out of town, he spent time with me. he took me to disneyland for the first time. he was there for me when i needed him and generally was understanding. when i was in the 8th grade he was out of town and a friend and i stole his car in the middle of the night. it was snowing and we had a grand ole time flipping dooders in the church parking lot and driving around. when we went to put the car back in the garage we got stuck in the front lawn and dug a big hole in it...then being the ground level genius that i was i didn't realize that the snow would melt all over in the garage and when he got home in the morning there would be puddles which would be a sure sign that someone had his car out the night before. hmmm. he called me the next day and told me that someone had taken his car the night before...did i know who that was? me, uh no. well that's ok the police took fingerprints and they can match them to whoever it was. tears, sorries, please don't kill me's. you know he never yelled at me. he was mad but he also understood that i was a kid who made a stupid mistake. not my first and certainly not my last.;D that happened several times over the next few years and he always listened to me and tried to be understanding.
now here's the catch with this man. there was this side and there was another really mean side. i don't really remember a whole lot about this side until i was 14. being a teenager for me was a special kind of hell. i won't go into that...let's just say that after i was married i ripped my journal apart from that time of my life and burned it because those were memories i never wanted to read about and most certainly didn't want my kids or grandkids to read about. they were not happy for so many reasons i couldn't begin to tell you. there is not one person in my life that knows about everything that happened then and no-one ever will. when i was 14 my dad physically abused me for the first time. it was harsh and mean and awful. shortly after that he and my mom were married for the last time. things got different after that. he and i had a different relationship. he was still my dad, he still cared for me, we still had the special bond that we had always had, it was just different. he beat me up a couple of times a year for the next 4 yrs. i was not an easy kid, i will admit that, but no-one deserves to be hurt like that from someone they trust and love.
at the same time this was happening he also did good things. he was a long-haul truck driver and he would take me on trips to california with him occasionally. he would take me for breakfast and i could really talk to him about things. when i was in cedar city going to school he would come through there a couple of times a week and my roommates and i would go meet him at 'ed & debs', a cafe out on the edge of town. it was always me and at least a couple of other girls and he was happy to buy a meal for us college girls. i have a lot of good memories of that time.
when i was at school i got pregnant with mady and our relationship changed again. he stopped talking to me and the next 7 months were bad. he was not going to love her and she was never going to be his grandchild. the funny thing is...after she was born she was the only baby that my dad ever changed a diaper for. she was the only baby that he ever babysat. one morning when she was a couple of weeks old we made him watch her while we ran to the store real quick. when we came home he informed us that he had asked her if she wanted grandpa to go and make her some bacon and eggs and she had smiled which meant that she did. she was his girl after that.
when she was six months old he abused me for the last time and he was out of my life. i was an adult and no longer had to put up with that kind of treatment. i didn't talk to him for about 3 yrs. my uncle died and i decided that i couldn't live with the current situation with my dad. i went and talked to him and although the dynamics of our relationship were different we were ok. he made apologies that needed to be made and we had a sort of peace between us.
that went on until 7 yrs ago. a situation arose, not a physical situation. just a mental and verbal one. i decided at that time that i again was through. we got together one time after that and i haven't seen him since then.
present day...he has been in poor health for a long time. he likes food a little too much and that and lack of physical fitness has taken its toll. i saw my aunt a couple of months ago and she told me that he was dying and had just a couple of months left. i asked her what i should do and she told me to just stay clear of him. his bad personality traits were in full force and it would be the best thing for me to do. then a few weeks ago i got another call. he's at the end. i called my step-brother and he told me that he had been so bad the weekend before that he surely should have gone. so i've thought every day of what i should do. do i go visit and risk unpleasantness? i finally have gotten to a happy place about him. what if it went badly? i've talked to my sisters, my mom, my husband. they all told me...go and visit him. for your closure. you know the thing is....about a week ago a peace came over me. not a 'you shouldn't go' peace but just a peace that everything would work out. today i got a call from my step-brother. i thought ok this is it. it's over. but he told me that my dad is hanging on. he doesn't know why. my step-brother and his wife both got the thought that it's me. so he talked to my dad last night and my dad said that we should come. he wants to see mady and if i wanted to come that would be ok. i think that is what that peace was about. i think that he needed to be ready to talk to me. it had to come from him. so we are going tonight. am i nervous? oh hell yes. do i think that it will be alright? yes. i wonder if he'll go after. i wonder if that is what is keeping him here. heavenly father works in pretty mysterious ways.
so again, i don't know who needs this. i hope whoever it is finds it.
**all went well...thank you so much for the sweet comments and words of encouragement. i really have the greatest friends and family!