Friday, December 10, 2010
RIP Dad 1930-1990
Today marks the 20th anniversary of my Dad's death. I can't believe that that much time has passed. I wish he could have gotten to know his Grandchildren and to see the person I have grown up to be. I believe he would be proud.
Alcoholism stripped him of his intelligence, his humor, his good looks. It took away everything that he had worked so hard for. Ultimately, it took his life.
I remember this day as though it were yesterday. Rushing to the hospital with three small babies in hand, running down the hallway trying to get there in time. "I'm sorry, Kelly, but your Dad just took his last breath", the nurse told me. I sat with him alone. I studied his face, memorizing his skin tone, studying his nose that had been smashed in with a metal pipe just two months before. Someone had hurt my Father and then robbed him of the only money he had. Two dollars! They broke his nose for two fucking dollars as he sat on a street corner, alone and destitute. I studied his feet that had taken him to both good and bad places and I wanted to remember everything about him, so I would never forget. This man who I loved so much and who had become so unlovable to so many. This man who had lost his job, all respect, all dignity and lived in a one room studio apartment when he died. My heart feels so much pain and sadness as I write this. I am crying now as I remember the man who was so strong, so funny, so charismatic. My Mom use to say that all the woman loved him and all the men wanted to be like him. Alcohol took that all away. Slowly, all the air was drained out of him. Kinda like a balloon deflating.
Today I honor my Dad for the man who taught me to be strong. He taught me to be a survivor, though he didn't know that. His drinking was a gift to me as strange as that sounds. In 1981, I decided to stop drinking for my New Years Resolution. A tribute to myself and to my Dad. I hated the taste of alcohol, but what if?? I couldn't risk ever having an issue like that. I couldn't put myself or the ones I loved, through that. So today I encourage any of you to take a step towards making your life a better one. I am so sorry that my Dad had to suffer with alcoholism, but he may have saved my life. He loved me and he would never have wanted me to suffer like he did. RIP Dad. You were loved so much and I will never forget you. You were my Hero and I walk proud today knowing that you were my Dad. I am picturing you right now. I am smiling and crying at the same time.