I kind of skipped over my father when I posted about my parents. Frankly, I didn’t know him very well. I was only three when he and my mother split up. I have heard several different stories about why they divorced, but I don’t think anyone, including they, knew the complete story.
Later, after he died, I learned that he had two sisters I had never known. Naomi went to nursing school for a little while, but didn’t finish. She got married – a no-no for nursing students back then. Her husband was apparently an abuser, but she stayed with him for about 50 years. She died back in the mid-90’s. The other sister, Mary Elizabeth, died back in the 50’s of a stroke. They knew about me, but had not tried to keep in touch. Apparently they were warned off by my father who told them I would, “never need anything they could offer me.”
His father, according to reports by Naomi and her oldest daugher and son, was an abuser who was married at least 3 times and maybe 5 times. There are rumors that he murdered my grandmother, the Cherokee indian, and that one of his children by a previous wife was imprisoned for murder. Gee, the things you learn about your family!
Did I love my father? I honestly don’t know. I longed for more time with him, and as a child I think I loved him. As I got older, however, the lack of contact over the years reduced my attachment to him. There were some points in time in which I tried to re-establish a relationship with him and my half-sister and half-brother. It never “worked,” though. When he experienced his last illness, I wasn’t notified until he was in a coma. I spent several days at his bedside, read the paper to him, kept the TV tuned to sports programs in a vain attempt to bring him “back,” but he didn’t recover. My sons were among his pallbearers. But they didn’t know him, and it was a detached kind of honor for them.
I pray for him and for his wife (my step-mother) who died a couple of years later. I wasn’t notified of her last illness or death at all. I found out a couple of years later when our priest went with me to my father’s grave to bless it. Then I saw my stepmother’s headstone and the date of her death. At that point, I realized that my half-sibs and I had no relationship whatsoever, and I gave up trying to keep up with them at all.
Such things are sad. May God have mercy on all of us!
Posted by Elizabeth at 1/23/2006 05:38:00 AM