It has been many years since I have seen my father.
I know a little bit about his health which apparently has deteriorated in recent times and age is most likely against him.
So when I have a few moments to reflect I ask myself a question. Do I attempt to see my Father? It is something that causes quite a lot of turmoil in my mind because in some strange way I would like to see him, but then the reality of not being wanted as a child tells me why should I give him the pleasure of seeing me.
Should I let him go to his grave, that sounds harsh I know, but he has made no request to see me and I know I am not particularly hard to get hold of.
The questions I ask myself are always the same.
Does he want to see his son?
Is he interested in what I am doing? My job, my life in general?
I have five children, his grand children does he really want to know them?
Would I upset my mum because after all she was left to bring me up with basically no help from him.
The first option, will I regret not making the effort to see him before he dies or has time just gone on too long now to make a difference because although he is my biological father I don’t know him anymore.
It is one of the biggest decisions I have ever had to make and the more I think about it the less sure I am about making the decision, but of course only I can decide.
Inadvertently he taught me something about being a father and that’s don’t let your children down. Always be there for them and love them with all your heart because it is truly a blessing to have children. Something that seemed to have eluded him.
About 5 days after I wrote this post I had a phone call from my sister telling me that my Dad had only a short time left and if I wanted to see him now was the time.
I really didn’t know what to do I was emotional and couldn’t really speak something somewhere in the back of my mind was telling me to go to see him.
I knew he was heavily sedated and he wouldn’t wake to speak and even if he did he was in the latter stages of dementia so it wouldn’t have mattered. I really didn’t know what to expect and I suppose I was frightened of the unknown.
Nothing in this world could have prepared me for the moment that was going to unfold. I had cried many times on the car journey and constantly went over in my mind all the things I wanted to tell him and when I arrived at the nursing home I broke down even before I got to his room.
On entering the room I was shocked. I saw a rigid, frail old man lying on a bed with laboured breathing. I thought for a moment I would collapse. I was inconsolable. I remember just saying sorry dad. I am so sorry and I love you. Where has the time gone and my mind had gone blank I just didn’t know what to say.
I sat with my dad for about two hours, telling him about my life, how happy I finally was.
I showed him pictures of my wife and my five children (his grandchildren to him who I knew he would never know and they wouldn’t know him). That leaves me with a very heavy heart because not so much for him, but my children miss out having a grandfather in their life.
Whilst I was talking to him I had forgotten over the missed years how much I looked like him. It was almost like I had been cloned. Quite frightening, but also reassuring knowing where I came from
The emotional turmoil I went through over those two days was something I had never experienced before.
I couldn’t tell anybody that my Dad had died without crying. It was pure, raw emotion and yet I couldn’t work out why I was so upset as he wasn’t really the best father and I had a very sporadic relationship since the age of eight.
So what was is it that left me in such a distressed state?
I kind of worked it out that quite simply he was my Dad and nothing could change that. Blood really is thicker than water.
I will be forever thankful to a few people for giving me the opportunity to say goodbye to my dad, to hold his hand, smooth his head and kiss his forehead and tell him I love him. Had I not, I feel it would have haunted me to my dying day. I cannot turn back the clock nor probably wish to, but I will be eternally grateful for that time with him.
Over the next couple of days many thoughts entered my head. Strangely I thought I don’t even have a photograph of my dad – that has thankfully been rectified now. I have been told by my sister that there was a time we were a happy family. Unfortunately for me I was too young and really can’t remember any happy times.
Some five hours after going to see my dad, he passed away peacefully. I will hold on to the fact that while I held his hand, stroked his head and kissed his forehead that he could hear everything I told him even though he didn’t react or wake and I truly believe he was waiting for me before he could go.
This post is written in memory of my dad.