I got the call Wednesday night. My dad had died.
He had been sick for a very long time because he didn't control his diabetes. Seems easy enough to do unless you are an alcoholic.
The loud, gregarious, life of the party spent the last handful of years barely able to walk, unable to take care of himself, and alone.
Alone with nothing more than his thoughts, his fears, his regrets and the isolation of the lake. I cannot imagine such torture.
It hit me in waves of pain that I will never get to talk with him again. I will never get the random call in the middle of the day from him. He won't be on Facebook liking my silliness or seeing photos of my kids.
It hit me that I am not going to get the happy ending I have raised in silent prayer since I was a young girl, that my Dad would choose life over alcohol.
When my Mom got sober, she asked him to join her and he didn't.
Then he found another woman and she asked him to choose life over alcohol and he didn't.
When a decade ago he had an alcohol induced seizure, I asked him to get sober, but it didn't work.
When he found his best friend had died alone and unnoticed, I asked him to get sober, but it didn't work.
When I drove my kids across the United States to my small hometown for our family reunion, my first one ever, he drank so much the night before that he and I got to spent the reunion at the emergency room. I asked him to get sober, but it didn't work.
I got a call from my family after one of his hospital trips that he was going into a treatment program to get sober. I sneered at their naivety, but secretly hoped he would do the work. He didn't make it home before stopping for alcohol.
Loving an alcoholic is the most difficult thing I have done.
I am happy that he has shed his failing body. I am so glad that his spirit is free. I am selfishly so relieved that this drama is over.
I am grateful that I have my sister to process this loss with. She is the calm to my storm.
Not everyone can relate to the long drawn out & spiraling out of control mess that an addict creates. Not everyone understands the relief of being glad he is finally dead.
Not everyone understands the angry side of grief. The disappointment and anger at a life squandered. Not everyone mourns the same.
Not everyone understand that not all parents are good parents. Not everyone understand the distance you have to create in your life from the addict. You have to distance yourself and your children.
The reality is that it is hard to miss what you never really knew. I won't miss him around the holidays as we didn't spend the holidays together. I will miss him on my birthday, when he would call me every year.
He was a good man with a kind heart. He would give you the shirt off his back and all that he had when he could. He was a people person and loved to party and laugh. He touched the hearts of many people.
But he had some serious demons he battled with daily that he allowed to destroy him.
I got the call I had been dreading and waiting on for 15 years. It is done, he is gone.