A few months back. I had written a little something about my father here.
March 3rd, 2018 my father succumbed to liver cancer. Since then I’ve gone to the funeral and I’ve had some time to think my dad and our relationship.
We hadn’t talked much before his death. It had been a year since we talked. Though what caused the halt of communication in our relationship was mostly the fact that he hadn’t called on me and my sister’s 17th birthday, and the days previous—considering our recent maternal grand father’s death was still hanging over our heads. He could’ve checked on us to see how we were doing, but he didn’t.
Instead of spending time with us, he always did other things like attend funerals and visit distant cousins in prison.
I remembered I was having a bad day, the sky was gray, and it was about ten days pass our birthday, and I was on the phone with him.
The first thing I had asked him was why he hadn’t called on our birthday.
“I don’t wanna talk about this,” was what he said.
Then I started thinking about all the times he wasn’t there, how he never called us on our birthday and in general, and how he would spend all his time visiting relatives in prison and attending funerals. But he never took that time to call my sister and I, and that hurt and made me angry.
I then asked him, “Do we have to die for you come see us at our funeral.”
He then started yelling at me, then I started yelling back and I remembered throwing the phone at the wall and ending it there.
He didn’t call us for about a year after that. I wasn’t sad or anything cuz it was expected. But the fact that he called a year later asking us what we wanted for Christmas, and not mentioning the conversation that had taken place a year previously, was what hurt more than anything.
But what did I expect? I can remember my mom telling her parents about a very traumatic experience that had happened in her childhood at the hands of a relative, and how her parents did nothing but doubt her story, still invite that specific relative to family functions, accuse of her lying, and much more. It was disgusting.
They offered no comfort to my mother’s pain. And nothing else was mentioned about what my mother experienced or the bad argument she had with her parents after her confession.
I’ve seen parents offer no comfort to their hurt child in front of my eyes, so it was to be expected.
But it still hurt, it still made me mad, and that’s why shortly before his death I had no desire to speak with him, go over his house, much less mingle with aunts who I had no relationship with… ever. But our mom ended up convincing my sister and I to see him. Which was great, I guess. It gave us closure.
He was dying, but the thing is we didn’t know. His sisters only told us he was really sick with cancer, nothing different from the cancer he’s had in the past, he was sure to recover. But they never mentioned anything about him having stage 4 liver cancer. So his death was surprising, not to mention he was looking healthier than I’ve seen him in a long time before he had died.
I teared up when my mom told my sister and I he had died. But I didn’t cry. It wasn’t me being stubborn or angry. I just didn’t feel anything.
I wasn’t close with my dad. Even when him and my mom were together, we still hadn’t been close. And I always felt as if he had favorited my twin sister over me when we were little, but he never called my sister nor talked to her either, so it didn’t matter.
I can’t say there hasn’t been moments where I find myself tearing up… or where I’ve actually cried.
I think back to when it had been two days after his death.
My sister and I were home alone while our mom was at work. We started arguing over about how we should edit one of our video projects we’ve been working on together, and the next thing you know we were at each other’s throats, and we had to go in separate rooms to cool off.
While I had been alone, I started feeling sad and that’s when I decided to write a note to God. I told him about the things I remembered about Daddy—the good and the bad. And while I was writing these memories, I thought back to my childhood and how sad it was. How I was bullied and could’ve communicated my feelings more. And that’s when it happened.
I started crying right there at the desk I was sitting at.
At that moment I felt I had only been crying about my childhood, but it was more than that, I was crying about Daddy and his death. About how I don’t have a father anymore.
Even at the viewing of his body I felt a lump in my throat but I remained composed.
I read a good memory I had with my dad at the funeral. It was a short and sweet story of when he had taught me how to subtract. Yet, at the same time there was a way I had wanted to start off the memory but didn’t. I wanted to start off the story with something along the lines of: “Dad wasn’t always there but…”
However once I had mentioned to my Mom, that’s how I was thinking of starting my story, she shot it down quickly.
“No, that’s disrepespectful,” she said, her voice stern.
I felt angry. I felt as if I wasn’t being disrespectful cuz I was going to say nice things after. That’s the only thing I would’ve put in my story that would’ve hinted at him being an absent father to me and my sister.
It wasn’t just the fact that my mom thought it was disrespectful and something I don’t need to put in my words. But the fact I was the grieving daughter. I should put what I want to put. She’s was my dad not her’s. It was frustrating! I felt as if me being 18, legally an adult, and the fact that he was my dad, made it okay for me to add those words. It’s not like I was lying. Dad wasn’t there and Mom knew it, too.
There was also the fact that no one really saw me and my sister as our own selves,as adults. I still can’t drive. Apparently my aunts have to talk to my mom about everything, instead of to us first. I feel like a child rather than a legal adult. That was another really frustrating thing about me not being able to say what I wanted to say.
All in all, I ended up not putting those words in there. Even if it wasn’t for a long time, Daddy still did work and did take care of Yanna and I, especially when he and Mom were still together.
I have to think of the good memories. Even if there isn’t that much to go off of.
I miss Daddy, even if he wasn’t around a whole a lot. I miss him.