Today I was chatting with a friend at work and we got on the topic of our fathers. A mutual friendâ€™s father was on his deathbed and he was visiting with him. He had never been very close to him.
Both she and I are probably in similar situations regarding our fathers although it has been many years since we have seen or spoken to our dads. We discussed what we would do if they were dying, if they asked us to come, if we would cry or grieve?
When I thought about my relationship with my dad I started thinking:
First my dad probably would never ask me to come to his bedside. I am sure it would be one of my uncles who would contact me with the news. I am pretty sure this would be the scenario. I started thinking would I go? What is the point? He is 61 and has never been a â€œpartâ€ of my life, his choice not mine or even my mothers. He has had many opportunities to reach out, be a father or even a friend but he never did.
I have long since let go of the hope that he will be a part of my life. I canâ€™t picture him in it. O, donâ€™t get me wrong I have a void inside. I mourn the what-ifs and maybes.
When I think of his side, it my grandparents I miss the most. The ones who invited me into their lives and helped integrate me into me extended family. When I think of my father and his family, it is them I see and them I truly mourn. I was closer to my uncles and cousins then I was with my father. But it was my grandparents who helped keep those relationships fresh and they have all but faded now. Once a year I send a newsletter, sometimes I hear back from someone, sometimes I donâ€™t.
When I think about whether I would run to his beside in his final hours, I just donâ€™t know. I probably wouldâ€¦but I wonder if I would only be doing it because I felt some obligation to fulfill someoneâ€™s final moments. Perhaps, my motives would be completely selfish, to show that I am the better personâ€¦but I hope that is not true.
And I know where some of this is coming from. As much as I wish I could say I have forgiven himâ€¦I canâ€™t because I havenâ€™t. Iâ€™ve accepted that he is a non-entity in my life but forgiveness, well I just canâ€™t. I guess I am waiting for him to ask me for it and I will gladly give it. I donâ€™t think I can give it otherwise. Having said that and realizing it may never happen I am still ok with my decision. I lead my life, I have other Great men in my life, others who stood in for him and who I did a fantastic job.
So, if I got the call today, would I go? Probably, but that is only for this moment in timeâ€¦a lot can change from one day to the next.