Tuesday, October 4, 2011

reflecting on my father...

I invited my sister to come over as I haven't seen her in nearly 5+ years. We never got along when we were younger. In 20 years I'm just starting to get to know her and her son, my nephew. The reason she came over was because of still pending legal issues surrounding my birth father's estate. She recently flew down to Santo Domingo to see family and deal with the ever legal bullshit of that backward country and his holdings. She brought over some documents and information I needed to see but the biggest surprise was the fact that apparently our father had the family photo album in mint condition mostly of me as a baby with some of my sister.
For 39 years (as of the time of this writing) I've wondered what I looked like as a baby and toddler. Those were missing images of my childhood that I never knew. I also wondered why on earth this man that never gave, never wanted us, was never there in both my sister & I's youth, why on earth did he keep this photo album of us?
I wasn't angry at my sis. Not at all. She's a good person, an awesome mom to her son and trying her best to steer him in the right direction. But I am angry at looking at this photo album and seeing how this part of my life was missing for close to 40 years. This man that helped bring us to this earth why did he keep this? Was it all about wanting to hurt our mother after she divorced him?

My sis showed me his death certificate. She told me our father was very ill and has been for years. When she saw him alive for the last time a few years ago, he looked horrible. She told me I would've never recognized him. In the last years of his life he knew his health was failing. He could hardly walk due to bad circulation in his legs. He was in constant pain all the time. He lived like a hermit. The last time I saw him was when I was 14 years old. The affection that is shown in the family photographs is an illusion. There was no love.

Because I remembered the years of abuse, he knew he had no hope of ever reaching me. In fact all my family realized I had a sworn hatred of him and I would not budge a finger for him. My sister told me he sent word back through relatives begging to see her, and when she finally pulled resources to come he passed away. He was found dead by one of my uncles. He died of a heart attack and internal bleeding.

Looking through this 40-year old photo album I realize this is all I have from him.

This morning before going into my first class, I texted my sister. I asked her one simple question :

"Did you love dad?"

I actually couldn't believe I even referring to this man as "dad" as he was none of those things to me. It took her a while to respond back, but when she finally did, she said :

"I felt sorry for him." And I asked her again : "But did you ever love him?"

And her response was yes.

May you finally R.I.P. father. I hold no anger towards you anymore.

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