I do sometimes wonder what would have been had I gotten the opportunity to see you one last time before you passed from this life. For well over a decade I beat myself up over the final words I spoke to you. I wondered if maybe by some chance there was a way you could let me know that you forgave me for my cruelty and you still loved me.
After a decade, I came to the conclusion although my words hurt you that you being the man you were would have never quit loving me. That type of cruelty was never in your nature and I know that now. The cruelty I witnessed as a teenager wasn’t you, but rather the illness you had no control over. It was the darkness of the sickness I saw. Being a selfish child all I saw was the sickness and mistook that for the man who was caught in its maelstrom, struggling everyday of his life to have a normal life when the Fates were determined to keep him down.
You were so much stronger than I ever imagined. You suffered through the bad times and tried to be the best father a man could be in the situation. I recall seeing you standing on the porch of our house watching us kids play, cigarette in your shaking hand, and a look of what I now recognize as deep sadness…a desire to be there with us, but a fear inside that you might hurt us. It took me losing you to see the truth, a regret I have to this day.
I wish I had been a better daughter. I hope that wherever you are you continue to watch over me and understand I never stopped loving you. Never once. I was simply a confused and hurt child who had no idea what it was like for a father who suffered from an illness there was no cure for.
I love and miss you every day.
My dad suffered from paranoid schizophrenia from the time he was 13 years old. Despite my less than quality relationship with my mother there is one thing she did in this world I will always admire. She knew from the beginning my father was ill and she stood by him, loved him, and supported him despite what her family thought. They were together for close to 30 years and in that time I saw what true love between two people was truly about. He passed in April of 1992.
Blessed Be & Happy Father’s Day to All the Dad’s of the World.