I cannot fully explain the void I had early on in my life because of his absence.....I vividly remember listening to 2pacs "Keep Your Head Up" in my teens and hearing the verse "Cause ain't nuttin worse than when your son wants to kno why his daddy don't love him no more". That verse struck a chord with me because I felt he didn't love me and that is why he was absent and I let that eat at me....this lead to me sabotaging a lot of relationships in my life out of fear of a loved one walking out of my life...(note that this was not the fact of him being absent, I found out later in life the reasoning why and being in a similar situation non custodial parenthood help me understand my dad even more). I also remember hearing songs like Will Smith's "Just The Two of Us" and LL Cool J's "Father Figure" and these songs leaving me emotional because I could relate to the void or it was something I never had in my life at the time a relationship with my father.
Tragedy in both of our lives is what brought myself and my father together for me it was my daughter not being around me everyday because of the breakdown the relationship I had with her mother.....overcoming that is eerily similar to the process of getting over my fathers death. My dad's cancer diagnosis I want to say 8 years ago also brought us close together. My situation put me in the mindset of a man who has to deal with the process of a broken down relationship and having his kid being no longer with him.....the anger, the hurt, and having to re establish his bond with his child and to go through the court system. People who are non custodial parents will never fully comprehend how that process is a long and painful process. Till this day I cannot respect a man or woman who is selfish and disregards the other parents feelings when it comes to their kids. That kid is a part of both of you, and it took two to make him or her and both should be involved in raising the child regardless of what happened to the relationship. Oddly enough my dad was my advocate and reminded me of who was important when times got rough my daughter. It also set up a dialogue of him to explain why he was not around.......later on through my experiences as a non custodial parent I understood even though I didn't agree with some of his actions.....regardless this was the man I wanted to know all my life and I was grateful out of a bad situation the lines of communication opened up with me and my father.
The tragedy on his in was he was diagnosed with cancer and at the time I was devastated because we had just re established our bond and with cancer you don't know....you just don't know. In the beginning my dad was trying to reconcile a lot of wrongs in his life and in my mind I could sense the guilt and the regrets he didn't know that by then all was forgiven on my end through circumstance I understood and I worked out my issues. God allowed me longer time than what he doctors expected and that lead to countless phone calls, him spending time with my daughter and him telling me, "I love you son", and "I called to hear your voice". By getting to know him I got to know more about myself and where I got my mannerisms from and I got to understand and know who he was. I would never trade the life I had or what I had to go through for anything. Getting to know my dad that much more was worth it. Time brought understanding. In his last years I saw the man that I love slowly fade away, his health deteoriate, but he kept fighting and he kept letting my daughter and I know he loved us.
The last time I saw him alive was to visit him in the emergency room, when I walked in he was sleeping and he looked so frail and like it was a struggle for him to breathe that I broke down crying so much so that it woke him up and I had to cover my tears and act like I was fine. I stayed wth him for a few days and my dad made it a point to stay up and conversate with me, however his questions were deeper than normal and the fact that he was tired and fatigued but made it a point to talk to me stood out in my mind. It wasn't until I was leaving the hospital to head back home that it hit me that our time together was shortening and this may be one of the last times I would see my dad. The next conversations we would have would be short because his shortness of breathe, and in my mind I had to come to terms our time was going to be shorter and I knew that he would no longer suffer and be in a much better place. No matter how much I thought I was prepared I wasn't and when he passed my world stopped.
I will not go into details of his passing and the things that took place afterwards. My mother and my sister were my rock and for awhile the grieving process had me questioning my life and wanted to be a hermit. My father was proud of my accomplishments and he was one of my biggest cheerleaders that lead to a fire inside of me to burn brighter and make it a point to keep living life to the fullest and chasing my dreams. It also re afffirmed that life is just a moment we need to make the most and not stress the small and insigficant stuff, when we leave this world none of our material items are coming with us....people are left with memories and the how you impacted the world.
These are My Thoughts and a part of my therapy....sharing my story......thank you for reading.