One of the things that my best friend and I had in common is our estranged relationship with our father's and mother's who didn't have much nice to say about them. According to my Ma, my Dad was a deplorable human being. According to my friends Ma, his Dad was a loser who wanted nothing to do with him.
Fast Forward To Adulthood.
I learned that my Dad was a pretty awesome fellow who expressed his sincere love for me in a very unique way. My friend also learned that his Dad was an awesome fellow and figured out that his mother had been in a sense lying to him about his Dad all of these years. As a side note this caused a strain in his relationship with his mother and they rarely speak today.
Fast Forward To Last Year.
My telephone rang. Despite my habit of not answering strange numbers something told me to pick up so I did. It was the hospital in the nearby town where my Dad lives. My father was taken in because of a nasty fall he took and was diagnosed with severe dementia. I've visited him and talked to him many times since and although he is pretty cognitive, his memory is not the best and he forgets all if not most of what we talk about.
My friends Dad surprisingly came into town to visit him and his family last Friday. A severe abdominal discomfort that his Dad experienced last Saturday led to a precautionary trip to the hospital. Today is Wednesday and his Dad has been there ever since, he has also been completely unresponsive since last Sunday. Today doctors performed a fourth operation and they still do not have a diagnosis. Barring a medical or serendipitous manifestation, death would appear to be looming in the horizon.
I read a note earlier today from a friend of mine who was getting ready to take her Dad to the hospital after an unsuccessful round of chemotherapy had not done anything to improve her Dad's cancer. She said that she just wants him to "get better" and that this entire process of watching her dad suffer by going through this is "emotionally draining".
My girlfriend received a horrific call approximately three weeks ago. Her young, in-shape athletic Father was found dead in his home of an apparent heart attack. Needless to say she was mortified, no one is ever prepared to answer that call.
Why this sad blog about dying and ailing Dad's? Is it to cause you to feel guilty for whatever relationship you have or don't have with your father? Not really.
The purpose of this blog is to help you realise the importance that Dad's have in our lives and how to improve on this connection going forward if you're able.
Here's my message to.......
Dad's >> Even if you've made mistakes in the past or are not geographically present in your child's life, You Are Important To Them. Let me repeat that in another way, You Are Important To Your Children. Make it a point starting at this precise moment in time to be the best father you could be to your kids regardless of their age or anything that has happened in the past.
Alieniating Mothers >> Being a victim of PAS, this is not the easiest thing to write without allowing sarcasm or passive aggression take over. All I will say is that the person\people you are hurting the most by using your kids as leverage are your kids. The invisible psychological damage you are inflicting on your child(ren) right now could wreak havoc in their future relationships and life in general. Please STOP and leave any unresolved or angry feelings you have towards your kid's Dad out of the way and focus on championing their relationship.
Everyone Else >> Appreciate your Dad for who he is and the good fun things he had done versus condeming him for what he didn't do or who you think he is. If you're able to do so, pay your Father a surprise visit or make a surprise call. Catch up, ask him how he's doing and make sure you tell him that you love him because the day might come when you know longer have the opportunity to do so.
Until we read again,