Today is the day my father passed away …… years ago. I lay in my bed writing this post as I think about all of the good and not so good times I had with him. My father was an alcoholic. There were some really good days and some really bad days. I never really felt love from my father.
My father grew up in Branchland West Virginia. He dropped out of school after the 8th grade. He moved from West Virginia to Cleveland , Ohio in his early twenties. He worked very hard in a factory and would drink just as hard at night. He would drink a lot of beer and Irish Rose and make his own moonshine. He was usually to drunk to really know what was going on in my life.
However , he would take some time every now and then to take my sisters and I to the Cleveland metro parks . I remember me and my sisters would play ball and in the water while my father would drink beer and enjoy the weather. My dad was always driving drunk even with his children in the car. He would sometimes drive through red lights with us in the car.
I remember my father saying extremely embarrassing things to my friends about their breast size. I remember him passing out on the couch every day with a wine bottle in his hand. I remember going to bars with him at the age of 10.
However , my dad did work extremely hard in that factory and often worked overtime. I always had a roof over my head and food on the table so I know in a way I was more blessed then others. I remember my father never giving me anything for my birthday. However , one time there was a postcard in the mail with a frog on it ( I love frogs ) and it said Happy Birthday on it with my fathers handwriting on it. I remember how happy I was because it was from him. I placed that postcard in my dresser drawer and kept it there for years. I would have done anything for him to just love me and to get to know me more.
I remember my dad taking me bowling. Once. I had the best time of my life because I was with him. I don’t think he ever knew how much I wanted him to adore me . I don’t think he really knew how much I cared for him.
I remember the night he passed away. He was talking to his twin sister on the phone . I remember looking in his eyes thinking he didn’t look well. Something was off. I remember it was a very hot and hazy July 15th summer night . I remember him going to sleep in his bedroom while my mother slept on the couch because she said the bedroom was to hot. I remember sleeping in my sisters room because her room was cooler then mine. I remember hearing my dads fan running in his bedroom window while I slowly creeped to my sisters bedroom to fall asleep. I remember it being so hot that I woke up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep. I remember walking to the bathroom that was next to my fathers bedroom. The clock read 2 am. I remember coming out of the bathroom and thinking I heard someone talking. I remember pausing in the dark starring at my fathers room. I rember it being eerily quiet. Did I hear my father say something ? I remember pausing for about 10 seconds and not hearing anything so I went back to bed.
I remember waking up around 10 am to see my mom crying and saying my father wasn’t breathing. I remember running to his bedroom and seeing him laying on his bed with his eyes wide open. I remember touching my father and he felt cold. I remember running to the phone and calling 911. I remember the operator asking me if there was anyone else with me. I remember telling the operator my mother was with me. The operator told me to ask my mom to help me get my father on the floor to start chest compressions. My mother and I laid him on the floor and she started chest compressions. I remember hearing ambulance sirens in the background. I remember two men placing a white sheet over my fathers body and taking him into the ambulance.
My father died in his sleep that night. He had been dead for several hours before we knew and started chest compressions. I remember going to the funeral and his twin sister telling me it was ok to touch him one last time. I remember touching him in the casket as he laid to rest. I remember moving my hand quickly away because he no longer felt like my dad . He felt like a stuffed teddy bear. That is the last memory that I continue to have over and over again.
I remember a few years ago I prayed to my father. I prayed for him to give me a sign that he was ok and happy . That night I had a very odd vivid dream about him that let me know he made it safely to the other side. He was telling me in my dream that he was very happy now. I remember waking up from that dream and finally smiling because I really felt in my heart that he was happier at that moment then he had ever been on earth.
To those of you who have a father please take time to get to know him and take time to cherish the moments you have with him because we are not promised every day.
JULY 15th. I always remember.