Daddy, I Miss You and I Love You.
In 1987, my father was first diagnosed with prostate cancer. He would not tell my brother and I about it until around 1991 or 1992. At first it seemed that they got it all, and caught it at an early stage. But later tests brought troubling results. Certain levels of substances in his blood indicated that cancer was likely present somewhere, but they couldn't find where it had metastasized to.
Finally it began showing up in his bladder. He had so many spots burned out of his bladder that I don't think he had a bladder left. I think he was also incontinent, but we never knew about any of his troubles, because he was a very private person who didn't share most of his experience with the family.
It then spread from his bladder to his kidneys. He had one of his kidneys removed. He was getting thinner and thinner. We finally learned, or he finally shared with us, that it had metastasized throughout his entire body. It was in his bones. It was everywhere. I saw the scan of his body and could not believe what I saw.
Something that made a huge impact on me was that he made a special car trip, driving all the way from Texas to come see me in Florida before he died. He brought me a few things that he thought I would want to have. We had time to say goodbye. It was very hard. I wrote him a letter, but he wouldn't read it. He and I had not always gotten along. My letter was only positive and full of love for him, but he didn't read it until shortly before he died. I wish so much he had read it when I gave it to him, as I think it could have made his short trip with me much better. We always seemed to clash over the smallest things. I don't even know why. I never felt good enough for him. Yet he still loved me enough to come and visit me before he died.
I got a lot of materials from the American Cancer Society. Matierlals on his various forms of cancer, and materials on how to interact with someone who has cancer. I contacted a hospice group to learn about the stages of dying. I wanted to make sure I didn't do anything that would cause him distress. I wanted to support him in his journey, and learn what to expect.
I made a final trip to Texas to see him in May 2007. He didn't look good and almost didn't let me take a final photo of him and me together. I am so glad he relented and let me take the photo. It is a good photo of him but not a very good photo of me. I wish it had been a better photo of me. In the photo, he seems to be saying to me, "Goodbye. I love you and I always will."
I greatly miss my father . He died July 10, 2007. We had unresolved issues when he died. We didn't always get along, because we both have strong personalities, but we loved each other. His wife really dislikes me, and she hung up on me before he died, so I did not get to have a final goodbye with him. I will never forgive her for this.
To explain, my father and his wife lived in Texas. I live in Florida. I was not there when he died because I was not invited to be present. In addition, once my father grew too sick to answer the phone, his wife of 27 years would hang up the phone on me without letting me say a single word. She would see my number on caller ID and would just hang up the phone wordlessly. She wouldn't even place the phone to his ear, so that I could talk to him. Then he slipped into a coma. I will never forgive her for this.
She then proceeded to immediately sell the house and all of his possessions. We had no time to grieve before she did this. She stopped all communication with my brother and me, except to take us to court regarding our father's estate. She tried to get my brother thrown out as co-executor of my father's estate. It was Daddy's intention that my brother be co-executor. I think if Daddy had been alive to see how his wife behaved that he would have been shocked. She failed in her mission. My brother remained as co-executor of his father's estate, thanks to a very expensive lawyer which we were forced to hire because of her.
As a result of this emotional upheaval and legal chaos, I didn't get to properly grieve for him. I still have my grief bottled up. I can't have any photos out of him, because it hurts too much to look at them. My brother and I can't even share memories of him with his wife. His wife would have been an invaluable source of memories. She knew things about him that no one else did. We could have healed together, as a family. But his wife ruined that. She made it clear that she didn't want to communicate with me again, ever.
She also has a precious photo of him, one that Daddy said she would give me when she dies, but I sincerely doubt I will ever see that photo. She has nothing but hostility toward me, and there is nothing in writing that says she has to give me that photo.
It took us 1 1/2 years, dragging Daddy's estate through court, but finally my brother and I settled things with Daddy's wife. It is not the way we would have wanted to do things.
So much has happened that all I feel is numb. It is hard to express feelings of grief or loss after everything that has happened. It is hard to believe he is gone.
There were things I could tell Daddy that I can't talk to anyone else about. I miss him so much. He was a strong and brave man, and I love him dearly and always will. I am sorry, Daddy, for the times when you and I fought. You were very hard on me sometimes, and I don't understand why you didn't show your love for me more. But I know you did love me. I am sorry if I was a disappointment to you. I don't believe in the afterlife but a small part of me hopes I will see you again one day. Then again, I believe we die and nothing happens afterwards, so I am not very hopeful.
I live my life alone. I spend so much time alone. I keep my phone off the hook most of the time. So when I spoke to Daddy, he was one of the few people I let into my life. Now I feel lonelier than ever. I miss him, and I have no one to talk to about it.
I wish I had had closure when my father died. I am one of those people who needs to be present in order to experience things. I understand and respect if Daddy and his wife needed to do this alone, however. That was their choice. Only it wasn't discussed in advance, and his wife hanging up on me so that I couldn't even know what was going on was very painful. It left me with no closure whatsoever. I feel lost. I don't know how to grieve or how to get over it.