Friday, September 9, 2016

Remembering daddy

Repost from an old blog 7/21/2012

He was daddy.

It has been a little over a week since I last saw my dad's handsome face and I never thought that I would miss him as much as I do today. I was so young when I was taken from him.

I try to never remember too much from my childhood but watching my daughter mourn the loss of her grandfather reminded me that there was once a time when I too mourned this very same man at her age.

I normally don't regret any decisions that I willingly make in my life but choosing to not reconnect sooner with my dad and not telling him sooner how I remembered our short time together is one decision I truly regret. Especially when he was always trying to reach out to me.
Still to his very end he was asking for me and I still did not go to him even after being told that he was dying. Somewhere inside of me I did not want to mourn him again and so I stayed away.

Ever since his passing I have asked God why this man was given to me as my first "dad" and what was his purpose in my life's journey. Why him?

He could have said "no" when his eldest daughter found me and brought me to his home. But he didn't. Instead he took me in and claimed me as his. He gave me his name. 
I never questioned his love for me because I saw it in his actions. I was his... then one day... he was gone.

As a child I cried for him at night and prayed that he would come and take me back home but I was told that he no longer wanted me and I couldn't understand why. I asked myself, as any child in my situation would ask, if I did something wrong. However, I never found an answer because I think (even as a child) deep inside I knew it had to have been a lie because he was never unkind or harsh with me. I was his. There wasn't a day that went by when he wouldn't show me affection. I was loved every day in his care.

We had our own special time after school together. He would stash candies for me under his pillow and I would come home from kindergarten with my milk carton and morning biscuit. We would have our exchange of goodies and stories followed by laughter and a warm embrace. He was daddy.

But years came and years went where he was nowhere in sight and in the heart of a child, the lies of rejection became more believable.

I was eventually forced to adapt to my new environment with my new "dad" & brother, new culture and new language. I was also reminded that I was disposable as most adopted children supposedly are. The changes were very quick. I instantly went from being daddy's princess to a servant.

As a child I did not understand what had happened and questions were not allowed. Kindness was also very bare in my new home and love was not allowed. I learned to keep in line and do as I was told. Making sure to keep silent. The happy childhood I had known was as gone as my dad.

When I saw my dad several years later he greeted me with tears and asked me if I remembered him and our snack exchange. I lied and said "no" because saying yes, for me, was just a stark reminder of a child that use to cry herself to sleep.

I later learned of how he sought me out but my mother was too powerful and by the time I was found it was too late. I was no longer a little girl with a tender heart and too many years had passed and too many things had happened. I didn't know what to do other than to move on with my life.

However, as he got more sick, I did tell myself that one day I would have the courage to reminisce with him so we could laugh together again. But my shame and fear of his disapproval always won out. I no longer knew how to trust anyone.

(To this very day my emotional walls are still blocking people off (including my husband & kids) BUT GOD IS WORKING ON BREAKING THE WALLS DOWN THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.)

 Thank you, daddy, I'll never forget you!
An hour before my dad took his last breath I prayed in his ear and thanked him for claiming me as his own. I told him that he didn't have to take me in and he didn't have to give me his name but I think I knew why he did it... he was adopted just like me. So, I guess in a strange adopted way, we were always bonded.

I told him that I wish I was there at the hospital when he called out my name so that we could have talked when he was still able and in that moment I felt his hand on the back of my head. He heard me (reminding me of God's grace).

I then kissed him goodnight and told him to go walk with the One he believed and prayed to daily - Jesus.  

I have no doubt that my dad is walking with his Lord. He passed with peace on his face, in his own bed at home, surrounded by his family. Some would say that he had a smile on his face and I believe....he did. 
Until we meet again, daddy.