Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I am Grateful

I've gotten a call every day this week from Whittier because Dad is trying to jump the fence. I cringe when I hear the phone ring. He is not having a great week.

So, as soon as my Yoga teacher had us sit still and cross-legged with our eyes closed today, I could feel emotion well up inside me. That's been happening a lot lately in Yoga, although less and less as time goes on. The minute I sit still and look inside myself I start to feel the sadness from losing Nana and the frustration from Dad's situation. My teacher told us to have compassion in our hearts and asked what and who we were grateful for. Then with my eyes still closed, I smiled. I am very Grateful.

I am grateful to have Blake, Megan and my Mom. I am grateful to still have Papa. I am grateful to have so many family and friends who are so supportive. I don't write this blog for sympathy. I write it for therapy and for the wonderful support that has poured from our family and friends. I am grateful for your support.

I also write this blog for the few friends and family that my Dad has left. Unfortunately he never really nurtured his relationships as the years went by. He had a dysfunctional family growing up and had a difficult time developing strong family ties. He was separated from family members for years. Grudges were held and many family members didn't talk for years and some still don't talk. I haven't seen my half brother in 20 years and have NEVER met my Dad's brother. I am not pointing blame at anyone... they are all at fault, including my Dad... but so many years have gone by... does it really matter anymore? What I find sad is that these relationships can never really be mended because of my Dad's disease. Even the relationships that never turned sour just became distant because unfortunately my Dad was not good at picking up the phone.

If my Dad hadn't turned things around the last 12 years, he wouldn't have much of a relationship with Me and Megan either. I always said that my parents divorce was the best thing that could have happened for our relationship with our Dad. As he got older and less angry he started to soften and reach out to people. I spent most of my childhood afraid of him, but by the time I was 15 or 16, we became friends. I say friend because he wasn't really an authoritative father figure. He kind of lost that right, but we had a relationship and that's what mattered. Forgiveness is a powerful thing. He was sweet and stubborn and a part of our lives. Now it seems he is a bit too much a part of our lives, but it's ok.

The reason I bring all this up is because this past week my Dad has been living in his memories of 20 or even 40 years ago. He keeps talking about all "his people" in Pasadena. There's really no one there anymore. He feels such a closeness to them even though he hasn't talked to many of them in a long time. Most people have moved on, or passed away. It's kind of sad and he wouldn't understand, so I can't really explain it to him.

There are people who are following this blog that have meant a lot to my Dad in his life. My sister Kelly in Oregon, cousin Darlene in Oregon, my Aunt Tammy in Northern California, Uncle Ron and Aunt Linda in Oxnard, Cousin Joyce in Georgia, and the Henning/Howell/Violi family from our Fallbrook days and so many more. I pass on your messages to him and sometimes he understands. He has a lot of people who love him and I will keep reminding him. Feel free to send him cards or pictures. He can get mail. Here is the link to his place...


  1. Though he may not be able to express it, I am sure your dad is grateful for you...

  2. Thank you Rebecca. He does tell us how much he loves us almost every time we see him... or at least on good days he does. Bad days are another story.