Posted by: mommyq | November 24, 2012

RIP Paul Victor Stewart

I can’t believe that the last time I blogged, it was when Noah turned 3. This place is a little dusty but, since I felt like blogging, I figured I would blow the cobwebs out and let her rip! I may not have the time that I once did to blog about every little thing but, I have always found blogging very good for my soul and, I honestly love being able to look back at my trials and tribulations, my children’s accomplishments and, milestones. I often times come here and read back and, am flooded with the memories and feelings of years ago.

Last month was very cathartic for me and, I realized that this is one of those moments I should capture to look back on in the future and, to maybe one day show my children.

Many of you that haven’t known me for most of my life would raise a puzzled eyebrow if I said that I had a father. You would most likely think “Really? I’ve never heard her mention a dad” or, “I have always wondered but never wanted to ask.” It was something for most of my life that I had no desire to talk about or dwell on. Mostly for some stupid sense of embarrassment or not wanting to be different from the “norm”. Even those that have known me for so long and, know me well have probably never heard the story from my point of view. I say this because I’m sure there are many stories, many points of view and, in some haze, the facts. My perspective is just that, the way i saw it through my eyes.

So, yes, I have a father. One day many many moons ago, I was a happy pre teen that lived a “normal” life. I came home from school one day and, the man who I had called dad for all those years was gone. It was at that point in my life that “normal” ceased to exist. I can’t even begin to think what these times were like for my mother and my brother who were the “adults” and who probably shielded me from so much and bore the brunt of our difficulties. I know my brother, who was fresh out of college, should have been spending his extra money buying a car, saving for his future, etc but was instead working to help his mother pay a mortgage, buy food, pay bills, support his family. I never knew it at the time but, as an adult have been amazed as my mom tells stories of having only a mere $25 some weeks to buy groceries. These two people are heroes by anyone’s standards.

Over the years, I have had very little contact with my father. It was not something I ever pursued and, he certainly was never beating down my door. A few years back, having children of my own and, after hearing that he had been diagnosed with bone cancer, I decided to open a door. I took my family, my husband and my kids to see him. It was awkward and, uncomfortable but, I have never been one to avoid things and, I tend to face things head on. After that day, I phoned a few times and, made a further effort but, it appeared to be a one way street. Now granted, the man was going through something very difficult but, all those old feelings of being abandoned, unwanted, not loved all came flooding back and, I dug my heels in and, decided that I wasn’t going to play. He had my number, I opened the door but, I’d be damned if I was going to be the one to do the chasing in this relationship. For a year and a half I heard nothing, not a peep, not a phone call, not an e-mail until this past October when I got a call from his step son telling me that my “dad” had been admitted to the hospital and, that he only had a month to live.

WOW

I went through an entire lifetime of emotions in 24 hours. I felt anger, shock, confusion, sadness…an entire roller coaster ride. I decided that for me, I was going to go and see him in the hospital. I didn’t really know what to expect but, felt that I needed to do it for me, for closure, for resolution, etc. My husband, who is amazing, came with me and, the entire way downtown, in the elevator, on the floor, I felt like i was going to VOMIT. I then walked into his room and, everything changed. I saw this man laying there and, it was sad because he had clearly been ravaged by cancer and the treatment. His hair was white, his skin was pale and he was thin and sunken. He certainly looked nothing like the father that I vaguely had a vision of in my head from childhood. This man was a stranger and, like I said, I felt sadness because I would have compassion for any human being suffering as he must have and must be but, as selfish as this may sound, my life would go on completely unchanged by the pending passing of this stranger. I realized that I didn’t NEED anything from him in the sense of closure, answers, apologies… There may have been a tiny hole in my heart all those years ago when I was a 13-year-old girl but, thanks to my amazing mother and brother, the rest of my amazing family, friends and, now my extended family and, my wonderful husband and beautiful children, the hole was not only filled but, overflowing with love and friendship. When I was growing up, I often wondered, when I was in a difficult situation or time in my life, what my life would be like had my world not changed all those years ago but, now, I wouldn’t change a single moment of my life.

We sat with him for a short time and, engaged in awkward conversation. As much as I went to see him for me, I guess a part of me thought I was doing him a kindness in giving him a final opportunity to say anything he needed to say and, instead we talked about a whole lot of nothing and then said our goodbyes.

Today at 1:00 pm, my father passed away. I just received the message that his step son left after getting home from spending a nice day out with the kids and my mom. There are tears in my eyes as I sit her alone typing out my story but, I’m having a hard time putting a finger on what I’m feeling so, instead I’ll sign off, go snuggle with my kids, wait for my husband to come home and hug me and take my time figuring it all out.

edited: It turns out that there will be no service as his wishes were to be cremated with no service. More confusion and mixed emotions but, it is what it is.

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