It’s an odd feeling not knowing where my dad is. It’s been six months since I’ve seen him, four months since I’ve heard from him. The last I knew for certain, he was in Lake City, Florida. The last I heard from my brother, he could very well be up in Wisconsin with this friend, Big Jim.
Truth be told, I actually don’t feel anything. I rarely think of my dad, which as I say, it’s odd. I’d been responsible for him and took care of him for 36 years and without that yoke, I’m a bit untethered.
I don’t exactly feel free because there’s a part of me that half expects him to show up on my doorstep asking for money. I still double-check the doors and windows before bed each night because I’m afraid his homeless friends might know where I live and will try to break in and do me harm, if not kill me. Who knows what crap my dad filled their minds with about me? All I know is that he never spoke well of me.
What to do now?
Since my dad left my life, my career has begun to flourish. Is that a sign that our relationship is supposed to be severed?
I have one more play to make. I’m going to call Big Jim to see if I should forward my dad’s mail up there or continue to send it on to Lake City. That’ll be my last task, I think. That’ll be me subtly reaching out to ensure he’s safe.
I don’t want to go back to having him in my life anymore. It’s sad, but when I think about it, he was never a part of my life growing up–he didn’t want to be. He preferred his women and booze and not necessarily in that order. My brother and I were–I don’t know what we were. We weren’t priorities, I know that much. Dad never made an effort toward us in any way. I don’t know why I expended the effort I did for so many years. Given his lack of relationship with us, I certainly wasn’t obligated. I think my sense of duty drove me all those years. My sense of duty and my misguided belief that I could help my dad live a better life.
I tried. I failed. It’s over.