My father died on Thursday, November 6, at 5:15am. He had a massive stroke on Wednesday night, and he died a few hours after being taken off life support. He would have been miserable if he’d lived, they could have operated but he’d have never walked again, probably wouldn’t ever have spoken again, would have been blind. I’d rather be dead, too.
I was supposed to meet my stepmother for lunch on Thursday, she was coming here for a meeting. She called me Wednesday night to tell me she was at the hospital, and my brother called me later that night to tell me he wasn’t going to make it. Neither of us knew how we felt about it. I guess what I mostly felt was “That’s too bad.”. I had just talked to my stepmother a few days before and she’d asked me, if I were ever in Dallas, if I’d be willing to go out to dinner with them. Because I haven’t talked to my father in almost four years. I took a lot of shit from him over the years, but his racist comments about my baby and my husband pushed me too far one too many times, and I gave up on him. There was no point, he was a toxic presence every time I ever let him into my life. I grew up, let go, and moved on.
So now he’s dead and it’s very strange. My brother, my sister and I all went to Dallas for his funeral. We have a half-brother, he’s 23 years younger than me, and as horrible of a non-father as he was to us, he was the exact opposite kind of father to Steven. I listened to Steven eulogize him at the funeral, he broke down a couple of times, he really is going to miss his dad. His pain almost brought tears to my eyes, but not quite. Because I didn’t know that guy he was talking about. That father who was there every day, who taught him to play golf and went to all of his football games. My father doted on Steven. He never, ever doted on the four of us. He left us to fend for ourselves, and when we did see him, he exposed us to all kinds of crazy shit (as you can tell from my occasional posts on this blog). He was a pathological liar and a total narcissist, and if you asked me if he ever loved anyone but himself, I’d have to say “no way” from our experiences. But if he ever loved anyone, it was Steven. That would honestly be the only nice thing that I can say about him.
I’m glad that at least he didn’t spend his entire life treating all of his children like they didn’t exist or matter. But it was very difficult to be at that funeral, and to accept the condolences of people who knew him when they were introduced to us. At least there were no awkward questions from anyone.
I’m glad we went because I got to see my brother and sister together, which doesn’t happen often. I’m glad we were there for Steven, I think he has questions about why we were never around but he isn’t ready to ask them. But I know it was good for him that we were there, he has four siblings that maybe he can get to know now that our father isn’t in the picture. It’s kind of strange, he doesn’t resemble any of us in any way, or my father. But then, my brother and I don’t resemble our father at all, and my other brother looks exactly like him.
So, he’s dead. I don’t quite know what to do with that fact yet.