The morning of February 20th my mom called me. I had just sent her a funny text while I was lying in bed nursing Emery. I thought she was calling me about that. Instead, she dropped the news that my father was dead.
Of course I lost my breath and didn’t know what to say.
My parents were together for 20 years and had my sister and me. They owned a business together that my grandfather had started. When I was 15, my grandfather had a surgery that left him in a coma for 18 months before he finally passed away.
My dad changed after that. He left the family and my relationship with him was never the same after that. We were very close growing up, but he left, and it was hard for me to understand as a teen.
At the time of his death, my dad had remarried and his wife was ill and living back home with her family. He was in the process of remodeling his utility closet and was having furniture delivered the day after. I don’t know why he did it. I never will. He didn’t leave a note. None of this makes sense. I can’t understand it.
We hadn’t talked in a few years for reasons that are personal. He visited us a few times when Bryan was at Walter Reed. But he never got to meet Emery, and that breaks my heart into a million pieces.
Bryan encouraged me to reach out to him when we got pregnant. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want her to be hurt in some of the ways that I had been. I teetered back and forth on what to do. I had forgiven a lot and wasn’t sure I was ready to do it again. I can’t seem to fully grieve as he didn’t want a funeral or memorial service. It doesn’t feel real and I can’t truly break down when I have an infant to care for all day.
I am left with guilt and regret but I have to process that. I have to remember the good times. My dad was a good father while I was growing up. He was a successful businessman. He loved fishing and to be outdoors. We loved having long conversations on the phone or hanging out in the woods. We took amazing family vacations every summer for weeks on end. He taught me to water ski, fish, ride horses, and patience.
Bryan is doing the best job he can to support me. He isn’t much of a conversationalist but he is an excellent listener. He spent hours listening to my mom and I talk with all his family. He has held me as I cried. I begged him to never do something like this to Emery. Watching him with Emery reminds me of the times my dad spent with me. It is healing but also painful to watch.
Rest in peace, dad, you were loved by many. I miss you…
This is one of my favorite memories of us at the daddy/daughter dance.