A few months ago I blogged about my biological father who I contacted after searching for him on the internet. I found him through his brother, who gave me a phone number. After a few discouraging phone calls, and a feeling that my father wasn't really interested in a familial relationship, I stopped calling him. He called me one, when I accidentally called him in error, and he saw a missed call. So all together we had 3 phone conversations.
Last Monday, I received a call from his brother that went something like this. "Is this Paulette?"
"This is uncle David. It doesn't look too good. Your father has been in the ICU for 2 weeks and they've just moved him to hospice."
" What happened?"
"He's had 2 heart attacks and a stroke."
From there we discussed how and when I could make it to the city where he lived, which is about an 8 hour drive. The flights were too expensive, so I decided to rent a car, and drive. I made the reservations, and left 2 days later after getting all of my personal affairs into order.
I arrived on Wednesday evening. My father didn't want to look at me, much less talk to me. I sat on the bed, held his hand and asked him why he thought I was there. He indicated that he thought that I was going to wag my finger at him and take his money. After speaking with him for two hours, I left with his brother for some dinner. We spoke, and found common ground. He wanted me to know that as next of kin, I had a responsibility for my father's personal effects.
This was overwhelming for me, since I thought I was only there to put his mind at ease and hold his hand, and when the time came, kiss him goodbye.
I returned to the hospital without my uncle and told my father that I had a few things to say.
#1 I no longer carried the shame and embarrassment of having a drug abuser for a father.
#2 I thanked him for leaving myself and sister alone to be raised by our mother and step-father. We had a good life. I was thankful for his sacrifice.
#3 That we both agreed that the drug abuse was stupid and that he was now paying for it in a destroyed body.
That was all in the past, and we would start from today. He seemed relieved. I stayed with him until 10pm that night and then went to my grandmother's house to stay the night.
All night long I had dreams about him. They were about what kind of man he could have been without the drugs. I think these dreams were a gift from my Heavenly Father to help me see how precious my father was to him. And that He saw him though different eyes.