Saturday, August 5, 2006

Charles R Hawke

Watching this tribute to Johnny Cash brought tears to my eyes so many hidden feelings to the surface.

I have so many issues to deal with regarding my father, and I can't deal with them. I can't get the closure on them that I feel that I need to. you see, my father is dead. He died on March 30, 2004. Almost 1 yr to the day before Johan was born (Johan was born on March 28th). And when he died so many things were left unsaid.

My father and I, we had a hard relationship when I was younger. When I was born, I was HIS baby. Everything I wanted, basically I got, and in excess, from him. I wanted one cabbage patch doll, I got over 50. (and I wasn't even allowed to play with more than the first one - the rest ahd to stay in boxes). Growing up, I knew he loved me, but his way of showing it to me was in things. Not by his words nor hugs and so forth. I didn't care about the things, I just wanted to be told he loved me. He was very much his fathers son. His father, my Pop, was a very hard man, and was hard on my father, I don't know if he ever told him he loved him or showed him any love growing up. Like with me, it was just expected that you knew. And so my father grew up a hard person (who did have a soft side.) If you were his friend, he would give you the shirt off of his abck. If you did him wrong (whether that be a real or perceived wrong) he would make your life hell. And he had such a distrust for people that if you were his friend, you didn't remain his friend for long. He would drop you so that you wouldn't have the chance to do anything to him. He had 5 children. My three sisters and one brother from his first marriage, then me. The youngest of the first set is 13 or 14 yrs older than me. (I also have two brothers on my moms side from her first marriage) At one time or another in our lives, he has disowned each of us, for petty reasons and reasons such as personal differences. In doing so I think he screwd us all up royaly. Especially for me. When my father disowned me, my other brothers and sisters on his side, so an not to piss my father off really didn't and still don't for that matter - have much to do with me. They just shut me out and treat me like I don't exist. When he died, they rallied around eachother, not around me. At that time, my husband was in Honduras, my mom had to leave for work. I basically had to deal with it myself. That was hard.

(when I turned 19, I became pregnant with my son Andre.) When I told me father that Andre was mixed (he had never met Andre's father before) he disowned me then and there.)

When my father died, it was a Tuesday evening around 8:00pm. No one bothered to call me or told me anything until Wednesday morning - almost at noon. And I swear to you, the only reason that they called me then was so that I would sign the paper my oldest sister needed me to sign so that she sould become the executor of his estate. In the months before his death we had yet to talk, and he had had heart attacks, was in a horrible car crash and in the hospital for a long time, he was on dialysis, open heart surgery and had lost tons of weight. (he was easily 350 - 400 pounds, if not more most of his adult life, and when he died he was less than 180 pounds. For a man who was 6'9" and large boned, that is skinnier than skin and bones.) But for all of that, not once did any of them call me and let me know what was going on.

It just so happened that I called Karen, one of my sisters on March 1st to see how he was doing. And she told me he was in the hospital. I took a chance and called him up. He talked to me, and we made plans for me to go and visit him on Thursday. (It was a Tuesday that I called him). I hung up the phone and cried. I was filled with so many emotions, happiness, relief, and just a sense of "I finally have my father back, after 10 years". After 5 minutes or so, the anger that I had, for him acting like nothing had ever happened, it just went away. I didn't care that he treated me like shit these past 10 yrs. It was all over and done with, and I was his daughter again. I went to see him, and if I had passed him on the street, I wouldn't have known who he was. He had changed, he was no longer this huge overbearing rough man, but now this broken down old man. It upset me to see the change in him. We talked for a bit, but because he had just gotten back from dialysis, he was exhausted, so I told him I would let him rest. When I left I gave him a kiss on his forehead and told him I loved him. He told me he loved me too. I saw him the following Sunday, the 7th. I took Mickey and Isa to meet him, and I got a picture of them with him. Isa was just 3 months old, and Mickey was 13 months old. He played with Mickey for a whlie, and talked to my mother about how she looks just like I did. That was the last time I saw him. (The picture above is from the last time I saw him - with Isa and Mickey) I was going to bring him food and eat dinner with him but I got sick. And so as not to get him more sick, I didn't go and see him. I called him a couple of times. But normally he was either sleeping, or out of it becasue of the drugs, so I didn't call very much. Three weeks later he died. I have so much resentment - actually not so much towards him, but towards Connie, Karen, Valerie and Tommy, and how they all treated me when it happened and since then (hell before then too for that matter). I so want to tell them how I feel. How DAMMIT, I AM somebody. I am blood. I have done nothing to deserve to be treated like I am a nobody. And for the four of them, who don't really have much, they sure do think that they are better than everyone else.

I am angry at my father because he left me. First because he allowed his last 10 years of his life to pass without letting me back in his life. Ten years - in that ten years so much had happened. I had 4 children, married twice. So much had happened that he never got to know. Ten years without my father to talk to from the age of 19-29. He missed out on knowing my children, who they are, and they missed out on knowing Pop Pop. All of my neices and nephews got to know him. They grew up with Pop Pop in their lives. He wasn't there when my first husband beat the shit out of me, and afterward, I let him back. Because he was so much like my father, I think I looked for my first DH's approval as a substitute for my fathers. It never worked though. My father missed out on so many conversations that I wanted to talk to him about. I missed out on ten years of hugs and I love you's. I missed out on him meeting Lale, and getting to know him. of giving him the chance to be there for me when I got married.

I am angry at him becasue I have so much to say to him that was left unsaid. And because he is gone, it can never be said. And that is hard. Usually those feelings and thoughts stay locked up deep down, but sometimes a sight or song or smell or memory will trigger the floodgates. And the Johnny Cash video tribute did it for me. I remember him listening to Johnny Cash when I was younger. No sooner did the song start, the tears did too. But it has been a while since I have cried for my father. I guess it was time to revisit these thoughts again. To cleanse myself again for another while.

I guess there is only one other thing to say. It is to my father.

Throughout my life - even during - no especially during - those ten years I loved you, and forgave you. And still I love you and miss you, and wish for one more hug, one more I love you - just one more minute with you.

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