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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Father's Day

Father's Day and Mother's day are never easy days for me.  Yes, I do try to focus on my beautiful babies and my wonderful husband and I thank God for them.  They make those days more about the Mother and Wife they helped me to be, than the Mother and Fathers I came from.  But, at some point in the day, my parents always creep into my head, and the "little Katie" inside of me longs for just a small glimpse of a Normal Rockwell type of childhood I wish I had.  My grandma collected these plates and I loved to stare at them when I visited her in Reno and dream about the ideal family. I know I am not alone in this.  So many of us have a story to tell about how we grew up, and for some of us, hell most of us, it doesn't look anything like Norman Rockwell paints it.
So to recap- shitty parents, I fell far from the tree, love my husband and kids and family I married into.  My "real" dad I didn't meet until I was in my 30's.  My first step dad beat my mom.  My second step dad is the one I knew as dad for most my life, but he drank too much and he and my mom were always fighting. They divorced in my 20's and he disconnected from me and his kids a long time ago. The pain caused by both my parents runs deep in the three of us. 

This weekend, I find out he has cancer.  He doesn't call any of his kids, because he has no relationship with any of us and he is all alone.

Ok, honestly, part of me thought for a brief moment "Well, that's what he gets.  He put no effort into having a relationship with his kids and now he will die alone.", but that's not what I believe.  I believe that judgement of this man is not mine to give- It's Gods. I was able to forgive my "real" father enough to walk with him through his cancer treatment, so I feel like I am called to do the same for the man that at least attempted to be a father to me- even if he did a shitty job.

I went to the hospital today,  I helped my brother navigate through the day and the hospital (I'm kinda familiar with Loyola). I did not recognize my dad.  He is down to 123 lbs. He didn't say much to me, I didn't really expect him to. When they came in to give him the pre-op information, they told him he might not be able to talk again.  I told him if he had anything to say, he should say it now.  I was hoping in my heart he would try to make some amends with my brother- he just shrugged his shoulders and went back to watching TV.  They wheeled him down the hall and we walked behind the gurney.  He sat up and stopped them.  He called my brother and I over and thanked us for being there. We gently hugged him and he was gone. The cancer has spread though his throat, larynx, tongue and spine.  We will find out tomorrow what the next course of action is.

Forgiveness isn't easy. It is sooooo hard to forgive someone who never asks for it.  All I can do is what I am called to do by God.  Forgive like I have been forgiven.  No one said being a Christian would be easy.

Thank you Steve and Gerry for being such loving examples of what a Father really is.  Happy Father's Day.


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