Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do I Trust It?

Last night, my dad called, as he does about once a month or once every two months. We are not as close as some. I didn't grow up with him because my parents were divorced before I was born. He wasn't at the hospital when I was born, and the earliest picture I have of him with me was when I was about two. The earliest memory I have with him was when I was about five. My dad has struggled with alcoholism for my entire life and longer. I used to be angry about it, but I am not anymore. I know my time with him like this could be very short because of his past, and following the encouragement of my sisters, I do not want to miss any opportunities to get to know him.
Last night, he was just calling to check in, though. After my mom died, he really stepped up. I know that him calling once a month or once every two months doesn't seem like stepping up, but believe me, that is truly stepping up for him. I appreciate that he is making the effort more than many can even understand.
I know he is losing his memory a little. He told me for the third or so time that he has gotten himself moved down to Kentucky from Illinois and that he has a job helping to build a log cabin. He says he is living in a hotel right now for $150 a week, but he's OK with that for now because he's getting a three bedroom trailer. He said that the next time my fiance and I come to see the family in Kentucky, we won't have to worry about having a place to stay. I hated to break it to him, but I told him I had no idea when we would be able to get down there again. The truck takes so much money in gas. Big T hasn't been making even half of what he was this month and won't for next month, either.
Then he asked me what was wrong with my car. Again, I have told him this at least twice, but I explained to him again that my transmission blew. He asked me if I had gotten rid of it yet, and I said no. From there, he told me not to get rid of it because it was my mom's car, and it had sentimental value, which I am fully aware of. I wasn't ready for it to bust either. I told him that the tires were new two summers ago, the exhaust system was new two summers ago, and the a/c coolant was replaced last summer. He started to add up the cost of those three things, and then he threw me completely for a loop. He asked me how much I wanted for it like it is!
I told him I didn't have a clue what I wanted for it. I wasn't trying to sell it because it's junk, but he said he would buy it and fix it himself. He said he would be happy to give me $500 for it and fix it himself and that he could probably send the first $100 this weekend. He told me not to do anything with the car until it was paid, but when it was paid he wanted to come get it and take it back. He is trying to get his license back.
He has already surprised me this year by coming to my house for my birthday, for the first time in my entire life. He left his girlfriend he has had for most of my life, and he is doing something good and actually working. He's calling more, and he sounds happy, truly happy.
I know he will never be perfect, and I know his disease will not go away. He said to me yesterday that God had really gotten hold of him, though, and that he felt strongly he wanted to make up for what he missed out on. For some of his children, he has 8 in all, it is too late. Their hearts are hardened to him, but for me, he is the only father I have ever, ever known, good or bad. His other kids had step fathers, but my brother and I didn't.
At this point in time, I'm not too excited at the prospect of him buying my car because I really don't know if he'll come through. I know he would like to, but I don't want to factor that in to help us with bills if it won't really happen. It would be a giant blessing from God, though. It would keep us above the water and allow us to keep our bills paid for this month and next month.
I feel like I took his call nonchalantly, and he could tell. His tone was full of emphasis like he was trying so hard to prove to me that he wanted to make up for his mistakes, but he really will have to prove that he wants to do that. I cannot allow myself to get hurt over and over because he isn't really ready. I want to believe him, but I just don't know. What I do know is that I will believe my Heavenly Father. I will trust God that his will be done in this situation. I will trust God that he keep my dad accountable for his choices and his promises. I will trust God that he has plan, and we will go through the motions for as many days as God sees fit.
Please keep my dad in your prayers as he turns a new leaf in life. I'm proud that he is working. I'm proud that he is calling. I'm proud that he is living on his own, and I'm proud that his heart is in the right place. Just pray that he will keep those new found assets to his personality and that I will have an open heart to him. Pray that he can find peace in his mistakes and give them over to God because he has a very tortured soul, and no one deserves to carry that much pain.


  1. Your dad is a good man with a lot of problems in his life before and after mom and any of us were in it. I think he wants to love and make right by you, so you need to put a little of your heart out there and see what happens.

    If you never allow yourself room to get hurt, you will never truly know what it is to love.

  2. Being vulnerable is hard, hard, hard. Good on you for being open to it, but remember to protect your heart. Remember even if he slips sometimes, he's still making progress. I think its the HARDEST thing to give our parents grace to change. Be kind to yourself!

  3. I'm glad he's making more of an effort for you. :) I hope it all turns out ok.

  4. i have tons to say, i hope it all comes out right..k, in my experience i spent a lot of time resenting and being mad. right up til the day he passed. i have changed a lot and let me tell you i wish i would have changed in time to spend a little quality time with him. i would not have held anything back. i would have enjoyed every dinner, every laugh, and every hug a little more. he loved movies, i would have taken him to the movies and done something he wanted. i would have looked into his beautiful blue eyes a whole lot more instead of looking away from him. when he wanted to have talkes, even if it drove me crazy, i would listen now. what i am saying is ENJOY every second you can talk with him, look at him, hug him, even with his faults (he is human after all like you and i) and if he has found God, then amen--your faith and your knowledge may encourage him to stay in faith-or get further into it. you may get frustrated and upset, but give him a chance, a real loving, non-judgemental chance. the day will come when he won't be there. you are an amazing wonderful person...he should be sooo proud of you. everyone else is!!