Another year goes by

nikkis-dad-001One more year goes by. I don’t celebrate my dads life, I mourn it. Believe me, all the counseling and medication in the world can’t change the way I feel. I’ve tried, well technically they’ve tried. It is what it is. I was 3 when my dad left. I saw him maybe 2 or 3 times in the next 10 years and once when I was 14, then I didn’t see him until he was on life support. The only real part he played in my life was imaginary.

My dad and I started to build a relationship a year before he died, that meant he at least called once in a while. That was huge for him!! I’ll never forget New Years Eve 2000. It was 2am, midnight in LA, he called and woke me up. That made me feel so important to him. Little did I know it’d be his last New Years. About 3 weeks later, he called me and told me that he had a slight heart attack but he’d be fine. I called him everyday, the last words I said to him were, “stay laying down, I love you and I’ll call you tomorrow to see how your doctors appointment went.” He had a major heart attack and severe stroke that night. I took a flight to LA the next day, seeing him like that after going years without seeing him was heart breaking and confusing. I kept saying to my sisters, “that is not him.” In my mind he was different. He was taken off life support January 30th, 2000.

I can remember the Super bowl was playing in the waiting room. I walked outside the hospital and it started to rain. My Aunt says something to me that I will never forget and to this day I don’t speak to her (for various reasons) she said to me, “you get to go home to your husband, Rosalinda (my dads 5th wife who was only 25) has to go home to an empty house.” I said to her, “she will remarry, I will never have a dad, that is for sure now.”

In my mind he was everything I wanted, dreamed of but never had. So who was I burying? The man that had plans that didn’t involve me? That went from loving me so much to not talking to me for years. According to my mom I was the apple of his eye. He even wore a belt buckle with my picture in it. How could he walk away? Apparently it was pretty easy for him, he had done it twice before. So why does his death bother me so much? Because when we buried him I buried that illusion, the dream that I knew would never be. I guess it’s very hard to explain, when I needed to go “somewhere happy” he was there. He was the daddy I had in my mind. When he died, that died.

Nine years ago today, I said goodbye to my father for the last time. I miss him everyday, I miss the idea of having a dad. I wish he had been better at it. I wish he hadn’t chosen the path that he did. Maybe he’d still be alive. That’s what I mourn. I mourn the fact that he never gave me the chance to have what every little girl should have, their daddy. I mourn the fact that my son will never know him. I have few stories and I don’t know much about him myself. I see other girls, women with their dad’s and it makes me happy to see that yet sad I never had it. People say there’s nothing quite like the bond between a father and his daughter. To be able to call my dad my hero…if only. If only he had seen it that way.

In the end he has taught me one thing, to be the best mom I can be and to love and kiss my son as much as he’ll allow me to. He gave me 3 beautiful sisters and that alone I thank him for.

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26 Responses to Another year goes by

  1. Pammy says:

    I am so sorry,i dont no what to say to you.Your feelings are yours,your feelings are real and your feelings do count.Take joy in your son.Do hug and kiss him for as long as you live.teach him in your way how to be a loving son,and later in life-a honorable young man.I no the loss of a dad.I miss my daddy everyday.Different circumstances,different lifes we led.but one commom thread we share is the longing to have our dad here.A big hug I send you.Take care of you,you are a very caring and sensitive lady from the short time Ive known you.That is how i see you.LIVE<LAUGH<LOVE 🙂

  2. SKL says:

    I’m sorry that this is heavy on your heart. I can understand a bit of what you are saying, because my mom had a difficult relationship / non-relationship with each of her parents, and when they died, she didn’t know what to mourn. There was a lot of unfinished business that would now never be finished. I feel sad because I don’t know if my mom will ever really be able to lay her parents to rest in the way we usually picture it. But I do believe the experience made her a better and deeper person, if that makes any sense. It sounds like the same is true of you.

  3. serendipity hopeful says:

    At least you had a good relationship with your dad before he passed over. You certainly have learned something from all this.

  4. SanityFound says:

    Hugs – glad you got to spend “time” with him that last year, your Aunt – well lets just say I wouldn’t talk to her, just for that comment alone!

  5. Elena says:

    You’ve expressed yourself beautifully in this post, Nikki, thank you for sharing something so deep and personal. Peace be with you.

  6. stormsneverlast says:

    I’m sorry too, Joy. I always had my dad. It was my mother who was mostly MIA. And frankly, it hurts, knowing they are out there somewhere, and just too busy to be with you.


  7. nikki says:

    I wrote this post, fortunately Joy’s dad is alive and well and she can tell you he was a great dad! Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments, I called my oldest sis and read this to her. Her and I have our own kind of therapy, talking & crying to each other. I had a hard time writing this and an even harder time reading it to her! I have an amazing and beautiful relationship with her and if nothing else he did that! She mourns in a much greater way than me. She is 10 years older so she remembers more of what went on. Her last words to him were not kind and she carries that guilt with her. We are working on this together, it’s a long road with an uncertain destination.

  8. Joy says:

    This post has been making me think long and hard all week as what should I say to you. As you said, I have a great dad and don’t relate this in any way. My dad and Pam’s were brothers and both cut from the same cloth. I won’t make my dad all “nervous” and start spouting his virtues because he reads here but you know him and know what a great dad he is.

    I’m sorry you got such a crappy deal. You nor your sisters deserved what he did to you. I know this won’t help but the only words of wisdom I can give you, and it’s not much BUT…..It had NOTHING to do with you. This was all about him. I hope you know that. How a man, or a woman for that matter, could do this to so many children is beyond me but he must not have had a very good conscience. He may have had very good intentions but just couldn’t seem to make it work. But you can’t take this as he did it to you. He was just very messed up. I know you all must think he didn’t love you but I think he did. He just didn’t know “how.” A lot of people learn by example. What was his childhood like and what kind of a dad did he have?

    The good thing is that you have broken the cycle and Bailey has an excellent mom and dad. Some people keep doing what was done to them and you have risen above that and he will in turn, be a good dad and a good person because that’s what he sees and and feels and that’s what your love for him will teach him.

  9. Just a Mom says:

    Nikki ~ I know exactly where you are coming from. At least you went to see him and got to say your goodbye. My thoughts are with you on this day.

  10. Doraz says:

    If only a person could go back in time and change the wrong they did into a right…..
    If only a person could see the future and realize what a beautiful world they live in, before it is too late……
    If only we could erase all our regrets and erase all the suffering we placed on other people……
    If only…..

    I am sure your dad had these thoughts and more.
    He loved you , in his style.
    I am sorry for your loss.
    My dad also died , He was 57.
    He died in his sleep.
    He never had a chance to say good bye.
    Your dad was lucky enough to have you there.

  11. Tessa says:

    Nikki, I am so sorry for the loss. You’re a beautiful, loving person and have such a big heart. It is great how you embrace life and the gratitude you have for your life now is wonderful to see. Eric can relate to the loss of a parent in that way. His mom was in and out of his life till he was 10 and then last saw her when she had a brain anyurism 5 years ago. I grew up without a father figure as well and I know that pain and hurt. I’m glad you got to say good-bye and got to love each other. Our thoughts are with you this weekend!! Take care.

  12. nikki says:

    It’s very hard to imagine how anyone could do this after I have felt the love of a child myself. One minute without Bailey is too long. Years? It’s not comprehensible. I have tried telling myself, it’s not my fault and it’s not his fault either. He just didn’t know how to be a dad. I TELL myself that, what I feel is this…everyone has the choice to break that cycle, everyone has a choice. He chose to follow his own fathers path. His dad disowned him, allowed my “grandpa Bud” (my grandmas new husband) to adopt him. That’s my Grandma in the picture with him. She remained in my life when he left, she was a good women.
    Joy, thank you for what you said. I’m thankful everyday you raised a good man, husband and one terrific dad! I haven’t broken the cycle alone…Jason has played a great deal in that!

  13. nikki says:

    If only…. thank you Doraz 😉

  14. DM says:

    Grieving is such a personal journey- won’t hear any pat answers from me. Thank you for trusting us enough to share this.

  15. mssc54 says:

    I think there are many adult children of dysfunctional fathers (myself included) who mourn the loss of “what if.”

    There are so many “what ifs” that it boggles the mind.

    What if dad would have just made this choice instead of that choice? Then what would have life been like?

    Many of us burried a dream never fulfilled. 😦

  16. Nikki:

    I am sending you a really tight, warm hug….. and keep holding on for as long as you need to.

    This line says it to me, while you still feel the pain so acutely……” So why does his death bother me so much? Because when we buried him I buried that illusion, the dream that I knew would never be.”

    By burying him, you had to permanently let go of what could have been, what you always wanted to have with him, and had been building when he died. It makes total sense.

    Try not to talk yourself out of the pain; there are many that love you that will want to take that pain from you, but I think that feeling and walking through that pain is what will bring you to the other side; the side of acceptance, renewal, and the understanding, one day, that even though the relationship was not the one of your childhood, and adult child dreams, it did serve a purpose in your life. That will come; I know that for you in my heart.

    I am glad to know you and hope that the love that surrounds you will help you through the difficult days. And, keep doing that sister therapy; it does a soul good…… Vanessa

  17. Karen Joy says:

    Nikki,I sat here and cried as I read what you have written.My heart hurts for you.Knowing you have the support of such loving wonderful family,thats a comfort.Hang onto them and cherish them.You have reminded me that even though my Dad too has passed away that I should be so very thankful to God for giving me the loving Father he did.I was fortunate and blessed,and I am sorry thats not always the case for all.Thankyou for sharing such a personal journey,you really have a beautiful way of writting!
    From one girl missing her Dad to another……

  18. Joy says:

    Thanks for stopping by Karen. It means the world to me. One day next week I’m doing a post that will include your dad.

  19. nikki says:

    Karen thank you!!! I have a great father in law whom I love like my own Dad. He means a lot to me, not only do I consider him MY dad but he is Bailey’s only living Grandpa. That is a comfort to me, along with just having the best family ever. Jason is very understanding and extremely compassionate. I’m lucky for having them.
    Vanessa, all I can really say to you is THANK YOU! For everything, I truly feel your hugs.
    Mssc, I knew out of everyone you can completely relate, thank you for your comments. The world would be a more pleasant place if all mommy’s and daddy’s would hold onto their babies and never let go. If that cycle was never started, could you imagine the world…a beautiful peaceful place.

  20. Sue says:

    I am at a loss for words. It was a beautiful post. I can’t believe it’s been that long already. I remember you telling me about your aunt’s comment and I still can’t believe she said it. I agree with DM that grieving is a personal journey and no one can tell you when you’ve completed it. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  21. Gary says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss Nikki!

    I can’t imagine how hard it was growing up without your father. Your dad missed out on getting to know his warm and loving daughter. I think the loss was really his own.


  22. Gary says:

    We have something in common Nikki. Our fathers passed away on the same day. My father passed away three years ago today.

    I wrote him a letter last night and posted it on my blog.


  23. nikki says:

    I read your letter and as I said on your blog, it’s something I might do. What would I say to him now if given the chance?? I wouldn’t protect him from MY pain anymore, I would tell him how I feel because I believe I owe it to myself to unburden my pain onto him. Is that selfish?

  24. darryl says:

    Nice post Nikki, It must have been hard to share this with everyone. I’m kinda lost for words but I’ve known you for quite a while and I didn’t know about your dad. The good thing here is you rose above and are such a good parent, Jason also. It just goes to show how important family and friends are.

  25. Sue says:

    I think a letter to your dad is a wonderful idea. You don’t have to share it with anyone, but getting those feelings out on paper can be theraputic and maybe help you say things you want to, but never got to and maybe never would have if he was still here. Sending you good vibes so you can have a restful night:)

  26. Pingback: How long can we blame our parents? « Joyerickson’s Blog

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