So, I was talking to Mama this morning... just like every morning. I talked to her about yesterday, how I had felt, how I was still feeling.... and she said "well, you know why, don't you?" And I didn't. I couldn't tell her why I was feeling this way. I couldn't put words to it except to say that it hurt to breath. Then she said, ever so gently, "Your Daddy."
Eighteen years ago today my father passed away. Yes, two days after my son was born. It was pretty traumatic for everyone.... I loved my Daddy in that full, whole hearted, he can never do anything wrong way... and he loved me back just as fully, just as strongly, totally unconditionally... he was an awesome Daddy.
Yes, he had issues... he was an alcoholic. He quit drinking when I was a teen but that didn't make the years of drinking go away. Granted, we were lucky because he wasn't a mean drunk - he was actually sloppy with love when he had been drinking. He was funny. He was silly. He was drunk. There were other issues, particularly once SIs#1 and Sis#2 had grown and left the house and when Mama traveled... I was the one left at home. I was the one who "handled" him, dealt with the drinking, tried to smooth things over.
It didn't make me love him less... I probably loved him more. I always saw him as "sick" and never thought that it was a conscious choice for him to drink... maybe the first one, but not the ones to follow. I got it. I understood it. And I didn't blame him. It did not change my love for him.... weird but true.
Anyway, he was a great Daddy. I was so angry at him when he died... how dare he doe when his grandbaby was two days old? How dare he leave his daughters and wife to go on without him? He left things unfinished....
It took me a while to get over the angry. It took me even longer to get to a place where I could grieve... after all, a newborn demands all of your attention, I didn't have time to be a new Mommy and a grieving daughter. I think my son was a little over 1 when I finally started to grieve. Now, let me tell you something about grief... when you delay it, for whatever reason, it just sits there and grows.... it becomes a grief of overwhelming proportion and trying to deal with it on your own isn't healthy.
It didn't take me long to find help.... and I will always be grateful for her assistance.
i will always miss my Daddy. I will always tell Papaw stories to my son. (Even his bio-dad tells Papaw stories... there are just too many great ones that have to be passed on.) I will always be grateful for the time I had with him, both during his drinking and his sobriety, and I will always remember, with love and laughter, the safety and contentment he brought to my life and the lives of my sisters.
Rest in Peace, Daddy.