Happy Birthday Dad, I Still Love You....thank You For Being My Father....

This may very well be the hardest story I'll ever have to write. I've been crying for almost an hour and only just started typing, what, about a minute ago? Through out my life there was always someone who was confused when I'd say "My Dad." That's because I have a biological father and another man adopted me. But when I said my father, I ALWAYS meant MY FATHER- the one who adopted me and raised me with his wife and other children. The ONLY father I have ever known. Yes, he was bitter, angry, cold, distant and he also abused me in every form of abuse there is. But that's not what today is about for me. Those things are not why I cry these tears I'm crying as I type this. My father was a very strong and tough man. He was a "man" in just about every sense and meaning of the word. He was 100% German and was also a Leo...'til this day I've still not met anyone with hands as large as his were. Nor a man of his height and build. He was just HUGE. He was well over 6 foot tall and built too. This man was as strong as steel, both physically and emotionally. Born in 1920, he lived through the depression. He often told us that during the depression, "If you were lucky, you got a piece of bread with some sugar sprinkled on top of it. And that was your dessert." He despised waste, especially the waste of food. He'd ask us if we knew where that food came from? He'd say "do you think some man knocked on the door and said: Here Mr.his name here, here's a free jar of pickles because you're a nice guy." I'd give just about anything right now to ask him WHY he chose PICKLES of all thing's to tell that story?! It was years later that my sister, his 2nd blood daughter, explained to me that our parent's were this way because they had lived through the depression. Mom was born in 1931 in Lego WV. Still she suffered the effects of the depression. Speaking of which, there were few things that man truly loved in this life, but one of them was clearly that woman: my Adoptive Mother. He'd get so angry when I'd refer to her as "she." He'd snarl and ask me "Who is she, the cat's Mother?" Still, he was able to hide that love for her when she passed. That I'm still confused and scarred from as well. My father had his first heart attack when he was 50 years old. He immediately quit drinking beer and kicked smoking cold turkey. My neice explained years later that what he had turned into was called a "dry drunk." Angry because he can't drink but never got any treatment or support for it. He had no idea his wife would die from Lung Cancer some years later. This man had been through a lot in his life. He was the one who found his own father just after he had hung himself to death. He also found his Mother dead, as she lay across the bed where she had fallen, after suffering a massive heart attack. I think I was only about 4 when he had that first heart attack. Dad was a union plumber all his life. I couldn't believe, I was so honored for him when I did the search for his obituary online and I found a tribute to him from his plumbers local association. How wonderful was that! At one time (1976) there was no work local so he went to Canada for 6months straight so he could "support his family." Love to my father meant putting a roof over our head's, food on our stomache's and clothes on our back's. Other than the ritual kiss that I gave my parent's every night before I went to bed, when I hadn't received too bad of a beating that day, I don't believe there was ever any affection at all. Still I strived for this man's approval all of my life. All I ever wanted was for him to be proud of me. I wanted that more than anything. I'll never forget when I actually heard those word's come out of his mouth. I requested of my sister that the entire family be at my baby shower, men included. He told me that day that he was so proud of me. What really consoled my heart was when I had my first son, Kori. My father held that tiny baby in his huge hands and told me that I was the one who gave him his first grandson. He told me that blood didn't matter. See, his blood son's and daughters gave him all grand daughters. And my sister and sister-in-law and I were all pregnant at the same time with our firsts! Imagine that!..I'm skipping around a lot here and I just know that I'm leaving out the important things I need to say. I was always SO proud of my father...I just was. This man would wake you at 2am and just fly into your room, flip the lights on and rip you out of the bed by your hair and just stomp the hell out of you for stupid stuff. Mainly clogging the toilet. But we really hadn't clogged the toilet. And we were forbidden to use the upstairs bathroom. So even at night we had to go downstairs in the dark to use the bathroom down there. There were other time's he'd meet you at the landing just as you came in the door from school. That's how you knew the school called or that you did God know's what and he'd beat you all the way down the stairs, through the pantry and corner you into the bathroom corner. The blood would gush from your nose and cover your clothes and shoes within minutes. Mom would then force you to ***** down so you could hand her the clothes as she always put them into the washing machine immediately. I had a brand new pair of those white canvas shoes she bought me at Shoprite for beginning of the year schoolclothes. She got the blood out of them! I'm still amazed at that til this day! How'd she do that?! I went to school many time's with cut lips and bruises on my face. And he'd tell you "don't you dare cry, let me see one tear and I'll give you something to cry for." You just smashed my face in and bashed me in the nose. It stings and hurts like hell...OMG, how am I gonna get through this and not cry. I became good at not crying after just a few practices. I guess he was the only father I've ever had and so you just love them no matter what they do to you. I won't share what he did on the Sunday drive's that he always made me go on with him in his prize Lincoln Mark VI(it was a 5, did I get that right?I'm not sure of all of the roman numerals yet) 'Til this day I get an immediate headache and nausea when I smell the leather in any new car. OMG, but that's not what this is about. Mom and him were foster parent's for several years to over 20 different children but I'm the only one they adopted. It became clear after many year's that Mom was really the one who adopted me. He just went along with it because she wanted me at the time. Through out the year's this man suffered and overcame many, many ailments. All in all he had a total of 18 heart attacks. He had his gall bladder removed and something was also wrong with his spleen which I can't recall. He had and overcame pancreatic cancer. Not once, but TWICE he over came lung cancer himself (which was blamed mostly on the asbestos, having worked on all of the old pipes in just about every prison in NY state. And all of the other old, historic buildings he worked as well. They had to cut out 3/4th's of his lung and this made it extremely difficult for him to breath. But luckily they caught the cancer in it's infancy and so he made it through both times! In the later years he got Diabete's, asthma emphysema, and was put on oxygen 24/7. With nebulizer breathing treatments as well. He suffered a stroke also. I just know I'm forgetting a few things because this man really overcame a lot of illnesses and diseases. NOTHING was ever gonna stop this man and he always told us that he was going to out live us all. I know you're going to say, oh c'mon Brea, you know that everyone dies. But I did.... I believed him 110%.....I REALLY did....I cannot believe he is gone. I lost him 17 days before my first heart surgery. The family almost didn't tell me because they feared the news and services would be too much on my heart. My Electrophysiologist absolutely forbid me to go, he was afraid I'd code again. Of course I went. I cried non stop the entire 5 hours we were at the ceremony. His blood children all carried on fine, all dry eye's in the room except for mine. This I will never understand. Especially with the way he treated me and how good he treated them. I know I left out a lot of what I meant to write. My father stopped accepting my phone calls again in the last few years of his life. This hurt me but I kept telling myself that I must keep trying because God forbid something should ever happen I'd never forgive myself. Less that 2 months before he passed I sent him a Father's Day card. The image on the front of the card was a knight on a white horse. I wrote inside the card "I know now why I haven't found my knight in shinning armour. It's becuase he's you, My Father!" My brother and sister-in-law said that it meant a great deal to him. When we went back to the house after the services, the card was still there laying on his dresser. As with my Mother, I was the last one to leave my father at the casket. My two brother's (his son's) each one arm in a rm with me, I said "Thank you for all you did for me." I meant for adopting me and giving me a chance at a better life after what my biological monster had done to me. I still wish I could've been his little girl. I no longer have to cry over the thought of him not being there to walk me down the aisle because I'm too old to get married now. And who would I be kidding to even entertain such a thought now, after everything and at my age. All week I've been dreaming about the house I grew up in and I've even had nightmare's that have taken place in that house. But I was unaware until this morning that it was his Birthday. My father loved light houses and he collected them too. I can't pass a light house or a picture of one and not think of him. God, did that man know HOW MUCH I loved him? Did he KNOW HOW PROUD I was of him just as a man? Did he KNOW HOW PROUD I WAS THAT HE WAS MY FATHER? Does he know how I wish things could've been different? How I wish I could've done EVERYTHING RIGHT and been EVERYTHING HE'D EVER WANTED me to be? Did he even know me? Did he ever love me? Did he feel my pain? Did it hurt him to hurt me? In his heart, was I REALLY his child? Did he hate me? I finally found his obituary during a search, more than ayear after he died. Did HE ask them not to include me as his child or at all in his obituary? It meant a lot to me that atleast they did include my sons in there. That nearly killed me right there. What a kick in the heart, the gutt. I wonder how Mom would've felt about that? That was so hurtful but then again as it was an issue my whole life, I'm not of your blood. (As Mom always said I'm a "insert my birth name here" through and through. She felt that I was just like them. In some ways I am, they aren't all bad people. My Aunt married a man who played for the New England Patriot's.) They even added my Mother's first son that was not his and he literally hated all his life. I'm certain it wasn't a mistake. Still, when I think of what a real man is, it's a man like my father. A strong man. A man who works his tail off to support his family even if he has to travel far and be away for half a year at a time. He make's sure you NEVER get evicted and that you ALWAYS have more than enough food to eat. The sad thing about all this is that I always get the men who treat me the way my father did but lack all of these qualities which I admire and was so proud of in my father. The one main thing that man drilled into my head since I was little- over and over all of my life: "when it comes down to it in this world, YOU are ALL YOU'VE GOT! DON'T depend on other people because they don't care and they will NOT be there for you! They WILL ALL fail you. YOU ARE ALL YOU'VE GOT! SO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL." Well Dad, you were right. I don't think you were being cruel each time you said this to me. I think you were trying to prepare me for reality. But how did you know I'd end up like this? I'm gonna tell you now since I never have before- you really hurt me Dad. You broke my heart several time's. I wanted to be your little girl, I wanted to be your everything. I still do. I'm so sorry for any pain I've ever put you and Mom through. I did love her so much Dad, I really did and still do. I was a young kid who was messed up and confused about what was happening and had happened to me. I always loved you with all of my heart and I always will. Please forgive me and be there for me when it's my turn. Give Mommy a kiss for me and tell her how much I've missed and needed her over the years. Please tell her I love her. This is probably a wonderful birthday for you because you get to spend it with Mom after 20 years apart. Thank you again for all you've done for me. I really believed you when you said you were gonna live forever. You actually wanted to. Oh how my heart aches right now. It feels like you just died all over again. I still haven't let go Dad. Show me how to let go...tell me how to let you go...I always knew that I would never want to if the time came. You were so proud of all you had accomplished and overcome and I'm proud of that too! I wish you had lived forever. I love you Dad ~HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY~

*Rest in Peace*

July 25, 1920 - September 4, 2008
PrincessInW8ing PrincessInW8ing
36-40, F
8 Responses Jul 25, 2010

You just made me speechless. each and every word of this story is immersed in love for your dad and proves that you yourself are nothing short of angle .

That is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing that with me/us bybybuster ;) *HUGZ*<br />
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Rich, I'm so sorry for your loss Sweetie...Your Dad must have been a terrific guy because you're definitely a man amoung men ;) Love ya my dear friend! Thanks for commenting (((((HUGZ)))))

How approprite that I read this on what would have been my Dad's 81st Birthday.

God Bless you for giving these young girls another chance at life! I understand your desire to protect them, especially under such circumstances. I'm sorry for your loss of your husband. Do not worry dear woman, for YOU ARE their Mother! Thank you so much for your comment! (((((HUGZ)))))

I am sorry for what you suffered.i wonder how a human heart can be sooo crual with a little girl .I have two adopted girls. i have them from the age of 14 days they are now 8 yrs old.. i L ove them more than my own grown up sons.I read your story carefull to understand the feelings of adopted children..u know what ever love i have for them ...no matter what i am doing for them ,i always have in my mind that they shou;d never ever feel that they are not with their own mother,though they do't know uptill now that i am not their mother.I don't like to move into family because i am afraid any one can tell them that their mother is not me.Their mother was not a good woman and i also avoid to meet my family for them.i have isolated myself for them.we are ver happy with each other .After my husband's death they are strength for me.

I was adopted too but never knew him as he left me at seven.Those younger days i could only remember now vividly the time spent together.I never knew my biological father because he left for China after i was born.He wanted a son after having 2 daughters.I really felt your pain of your lost of adopted father despite his way of showing his love to you.Blessing and Peace dear friend.

Thank you so much PastorVic! I did and still do love my father very much. It is what it is but he's the only father I've ever had or will have. I'm happy to hear that it made you think of your daughter, you must be a great Dad! :)

*crying* What you said is so beautiful and it means so much. "Blood doesn't make a family, love does." Thank you so much Destiney.